Andhra CID arrests Nowhera Shaikh from Chittoor in ponzi scam
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Andhra CID arrests Nowhera Shaikh from Chittoor in ponzi scam

According to police, Nowhera Shaikh floated 20 subsidiary companies and collected hundreds of crores from investors by promising returns of over 36%.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2019 23:35 IST
According to police, Nowhera Shaikh floated 20 subsidiary companies and collected hundreds of crores from investors by promising returns of over 36%. (PTI)

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh police on Thursday arrested Nowhera Shaikh, the managing director of the Hyderabad-based Heera Gold group, in a ponzi scheme case.

She was picked up by the CID police from her native place in Tirupati of Chittoor district. She was arrested by the Hyderabad police on October 17 and later by Mumbai police for allegedly cheating investors after promising high returns for their investments.

She was charged with cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation and also booked under Telangana Deposits of Financial Establishment Act 1999 and The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978. She was released on bail in the first week of November.

Shaikh has been facing similar cases in various states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Kerala, where she had expanded her business and allegedly violated the laws to collect huge deposits.

According to police, Shaikh floated 20 subsidiary companies and collected hundreds of crores from investors by promising returns of over 36%. Apart from Rs 5,647 crore of deposits collected in India by the Heera Group companies, the investigations so far revealed huge collection of deposits and investments in foreign currency including dollars, dirhams, Saudi riyals and dinars, the police said.

The Central Crime Station (CCS) in Hyderabad has also referred the complaints to Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax department and Serious Fraud Investigation Office to investigate the alleged fraud in Heera Group as its subsidiary companies reportedly carried out huge foreign transactions without valid licences.

Shaikh floated a political party All India Mahila Empowerment Party (AIMEP) in New Delhi in November 2017 and fielded candidates in all the assembly seats in Karnataka last year. But all the candidates lost their deposits.

Nowhera hails from a rich business family in the temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district. Her grandfather Shaik Kolkar Madaar Saheb was into transport business, besides doing wholesale business in vegetables, fruits and textile products in the country. Her father Shaik Nanne Saheb continued the same business. She was married to one Mohammed Sanaullah Qureshi alias Salman but she divorced him in 2014.

In 1988, Nowhera founded a madarasa — Jamia Niswan As-Salafia for Muslim girls in Tirupati. Inquiries revealed that it ran into trouble with locals opposing the same but she moved the court to get back the permission to run it. Later, she established a bigger school at Chandragiri, about 30 km from Tirupati.

In 1998, she started Heera Group headquartered at Masab Tank in Hyderabad, which claims to have been into multi-fold activities including export of food products, investment banking, gold trading, jewellery retail, textiles, building materials, travel and tourism, e-commerce, etc. She claimed that it has presence even in other countries like the UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Ghana and Canada.

First Published: Jan 03, 2019 23:32 IST