Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas in connection with the 24 entities and 182 bank accounts through which the Rs 3,000 crores that they had collected from 1,72,114 investors was diverted.
The ED sleuths had arrested the trio under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in a fraudulent money circulation scheme of the Heera Group, Hyderabad.
During the course of the ED investigation, so far, it has been revealed that the accused persons and their group companies had collected the money from investors across India on the pretext of investment.
The accused were produced before the Metropolitan Session Judge, Hyderabad which sent them to seven days of enforcement custody.
The ED has initiated investigation under the PMLA on the basis of FIRs registered by the Telangana Police against Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas and Heera Group of companies.
Deposits were collected from victims in Hyderabad, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and other states in India and also from NRIs in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Investigations revealed that the group companies did not have any actual business activity through which they could earn the promised profits/returns.
According to investigation, Nowhera Shaikh and others diverted the collected amounts to their personal accounts through their company bank accounts/benamis for wrongful gain and amassed huge movable and immovable properties. Nowhera Shaikh opened 24 entities under Heera Group and 182 bank accounts were opened in different banks in various places in the country in the name of these 24 entities. Further, 10 bank accounts were also opened in foreign countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia etc.
Biju Thomas, MD of Suvan Technologies Solutions India Pvt Ltd, Kerala, developed the software for the Heera Group of Companies and all the account details were maintained by his firm. Molly Thomas worked as the PA to Nowhera Shaikh and assisted her in carrying out the criminal activities.
The ED is questioning the accused in connections with their different companies, bank accounts and multiple properties identified across the country.
Nowhera claimed that she was being harassed and that the cases booked against her and the group were false....