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Hyderabad – On October 26, 2018, Nowhera Shaik was arrested in Rs 500 crore Heera gold investment fraud case . And the court remanded her to police custody. “During the investigation done so far, it had been found that more than 10,000 investors had applied for withdrawal of their money. That is amounting to more than Rs 200 crore,” says Ram Kumar, the CCS official.The Hyderabad police have identified more than 160 bank accounts across India . That belongs to the Heera group and are seeking more bank details.
The scam is not limited to a few individuals like the complainant in this case. But has affected many investors and requires in-depth investigation.Nowhera has approached the Supreme Court and filed a Writ Criminal Miscellaneous Petition No. 303 praying for bail and a stay on the proceedings in all the cases. After hearing both sides, the Supreme Court dismissed her petition on November 19. The investment scheme Nowhera ran essentially saw her taking investors’ money. Promising to invest it so that they got high returns, then spent it on herself.
“Her modus operandi is collecting money in the form of deposits on the pretext of selling and purchasing of gold .And offering a higher interest rate of 36 percent annually on every one lakh investment. She has been a defaulter since June 2018,” says ACP CCS.
The Heera Group expanded and diversified into various sectors such as gold, trading, textile, jewelry, mineral water etc. Nowhera and her company came to the attention of the Central Crime Station in 2012 after several complaints of cheating had received.The CCS then issued a summons for her to appear before it . And asked her to furnish documents of her company, which she declined to do and then absconded. The Mumbai police arrested her in October this year. The Enforcement Directorate had booked the company under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and for hawala transactions in 2014. Nowhera’s fall had swift, but troubling questions remain about why she had allowed to continue her business for so long.
Though Nowhera was in the public eye, she was able to sidestep the usual rules and regulations. Anjani Kumar, the Hyderabad police commissioner, says “Ever since it came to know about the illegal methods of transactions of this lady. The department started building up records. It takes time in such cases. We required bank information. But once there was prima facie evidence that there were many irregularities in the way money was collected. The department took action and arrested her. The Hyderabad police gave the lead to other city police forces, and they swung into action. The CCS team under DCP Avinash Mohanty has done a commendable job.”
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