Hyderabad: Heera Group managing director Nowhera Shaikh will figure prominently during the questioning of IMA group founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from New Delhi on Friday.
Mansoor, who was hiding in Dubai and returned to New Delhi where he was arrested, is accused of cheating 42,000 investors in a Ponzi-like scam, to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore.
It was back in 2002 that Mansoor had reportedly worked for several months in the Heera Group from where he learnt the tricks of the scheme. Investigators believe that there is a lot in common between Nowhera and Mansoor, especially when it comes to overseas links and political connections.
Nowhera, who was questioned by the ED recently, is behind bars for running a Ponzi-like scam by attracting huge deposits, which police says is to the tune of Rs 5,700 crore. She was arrested by the Hyderabad police.
Sources associated with the investigation told Deccan Chronicle that Mansoor will be grilled about his association with Nowhera, ever since their association began way back in 2002. Mansoor is said to have worked with the Heera Group for close to a year during which he picked up all that was needed to run his own business.
Though Nowhera has not spoken a word about her alleged shady deals and links, both nationally and internationally, investigators are having high hopes that Mansoor will spill the beans about his association with Nowhera and her links internationally. "We suspect that both have strong and common links in the UAE and own properties there. Mansoor will be interrogated on these aspects," sources said.
Just like Nowhera, Mansoor used religious and political leaders to gain the confidence of the investors and expand the business. "The modus operandi adopted by both accused is similar and even if we are able to lay our hands on some information about Nowhera’s overseas links, it will be a major boost for the investigation,'' they said.
Interestingly, the investigators are also expecting Mansoor to spill the beans on his deep political connections. not only in Karnataka but also elsewhere, which they believe might lead them to common political links between Nowhera and Mansoor.
While Mansoor has claimed non-repayment of money by politicians and businessmen as a reason for the downfall of his business, Nowhera was arrested from New Delhi while she was all set to meet a top politician with whom she had sought an appointment. Besides, police believes that Nowhera has links with several politicians across north and south India.
Police says that Nowhera had about 200 bank accounts through which she was reportedly carrying out her deals and there were foreign currency deposits to the tune of Rs 250 crore in her accounts. Importantly, investigators have a strong suspicion that she has directly or indirectly financed some banned outfits, linked to terrorism, the information of which was even passed on to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). There are 40 cases against her nationwide.
Even during her custody with the ED, Nowhera did not reveal anything significant. "We will see what comes out in Mansoor’s interrogation regarding Nowhera, based on which we will decide the future course of action," a senior official said.