Hyderabad: She has been questioned more than a dozen times by different agencies across many states but the outcome has never satisfied the investigators. This has resulted in her alleged nefarious activities under wraps, sp far.
Now, for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was granted seven-day custody of Nowhera Shaik of the Heera Group, accused of running a Ponzi-like scam by attracting deposits to the tune of Rs 5,700 crore from nearly two lakh people, it will be a last ditch attempt to obtain some data from her before they go for attachment of her properties in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh.
Nowhera, who was lodged in Chanchalguda central prison, was taken into custody by the ED officials on Tuesday after a local court granted her custody to the agency. The ED is looking into the money laundering angle and FEMA violations.
Sources told Deccan Chronicle that though the ED has prepared a detailed questionnaire for Nowhera, it is likely that she will not reveal anything more than what is already known. Therefore, the Enforcement Directorate is making its own efforts to at least lay their hands on some data of her bank transactions, details about the properties acquired by her and her overseas links.
Though all of these questions and many more have been fired at her by investigators of different states including Karnataka and Maharashtra, it has not yielded results. She was questioned by the Bengaluru police last month.
“Nothing significant is expected to emerge from the questioning but we will try to obtain some leads pertaining to bank transactions, acquisition of properties and her links abroad. Thereafter, proceedings will begin to attach her properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Agencies in other states too will be going in for attachment of her property shortly,” sources said.
Her Heera group of companies has operations in the UAE as well and though all agencies are interested in leaning more about her foreign connections, nothing concrete has come out so far.
“Economic offenders are known not to reveal much and same is the case with Nowhera Shaik. All that we can do is try and gather some more evidence,” one investigator said.
Nowhera has properties in Banjara Hills, Tolichowki in Hyderabad and in Chittoor of Andhra Pradesh besides in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bengaluru.
It is suspected that she has properties abroad as well.
In order to get some information, the ED officials will be confronting Nowhera Shaik with her two trusted aides, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas, in the hope that some contradictions may surface in their testimonies, which could lead the Enforcement Directorate to gather some more evidence.
Investigators alleged that Nowhera has about 200 bank accounts and the turnover of her company in 2017-18 stood at about Rs 900 crore.
There were foreign currency deposits to the tune of Rs 250 crore in her bank accounts. There are more than 40 cases that are registered against her nationwide.