Heera Gold case: Enforcement Directorate to seek custody of Nowhera Shaik

Nowhera is accused of running Ponzi-like scam involving crores.

Hyderabad: With the Enforcement Directorate (ED) bringing the Musaddilal Jewellers case to its logical end with seizure of 145.89 kg gold jewellery worth Rs 82.11 crore, the agency has now set its eyes on the Nowhera Shaik case, which continues to be a mystery for the investigators.

The ED is shortly going to file a petition in the court seeking custody of Nowhera Shaik, managing director of the Heera Group of Companies, who is accused of running a Ponzi-like scam by attracting huge deposits, which investigators say is to the tune of Rs 5,700 crore, from nearly two lakh people.

The move by the ED comes even as the Telangana state police is mulling handing over the case to the CBI as it is being investigated by the police of various states. The case also has overseas links. Sources told Deccan Chronicle that the ED will be filing a petition seeking Nowhera Shaik’s custody at least for five days to interrogate her on the money laundering angle.

Besides, the ED will also look into foreign exchange rules violation on the part of Nowhera Shaik’s Heera Group, which has operations in the UAE as well.

Though she has been interrogated quite a few times, Nowhera Shaik has not spoken a word about her deals before the investigators. It remains to be seen whether she would reveal anything before the ED. Just like in the case of Musaddilal Jewellers, the ED is likely to initiate proceedings to attach her properties under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Investigation so far has revealed that Shaik has several properties in Hyderabad, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bengaluru. It is suspected that she has properties abroad as well. Her properties at Banjara Hills and Tolichowki in Hyderabad and Chittoor are said to be worth about Rs 150 crore.

Sources said that the ED is preparing a detailed questionnaire to get some information out of the alleged scamster and confront her with inputs which they have gathered from their sources.

Investigators say Shaik has about 200 bank accounts through which she was reportedly carrying out deals. The turnover of her company in 2017-18 stood at about Rs 900 crore and in her business ventures she was making a profit of 90 per cent. Besides, there were foreign currency deposits to the tune of Rs 250 crore in her accounts.

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