Hyderabad: Nowhera Shaik, chairman of the controversial Heera Group of companies and President of the All India Mahila Empowerment Party (MEP) was arrested on Monday 15th October in New Delhi, on charges of cheating investors to the tune of hundreds of crores.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, who announced the arrest of Shaik at a press conference here on Tuesday, said she was accused by several investors of cheating after collecting deposits from them.
Shaik was arrested under section 406, 409, 420, and 506 of the IPC by the Central Crime Station (CCS), of the Hyderabad police.
Heera Gold, which according to SEBI is a Ponzi Scheme, lured investors in the name of Halal investments and promised high monthly fixed returns. The company systematically targeted Muslims across India and in the Middle East, amassing vast sums of money. It had stopped paying investors for the past few months, leading to several complaints against it.
Heera Gold, which claims to be a gold trading company with business interests all over the world, has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme and indulging in money laundering, and hawala transactions for several years.
In 2012, Hyderabad MP, Asaduddin Owaisi, had registered a case against Shaik and her company for cheating a large number of local investors from his constituency. In 2014, Shaik was named a prime accused by a special task force team, which busted an international hawala racket in Hyderabad.
On 12th November 2017, Nowhera Shaik founded the All India Mahila Empowerment Party (MEP) and forayed into politics with disastrous results. The party contested the 2018 Karnataka elections with much fanfare, but its candidates were barely able to collect 1 lakh votes in all the 175 constituencies put together.
Throughout the election cycle, MEP was accused of being the B-team of the BJP, and of contesting the polls to take away a share of Muslim votes off the Congress, and thereby help the Hindutva party.
After the elections, MEP’s own candidates filed criminal complaints against Nowhera Shaik, accusing her of cheating.
They accused Shaik of promising to fund their election campaign and obtained blank cheques and money before awarding them tickets and B-forms. Candidates claimed they did not receive any money from Shaik, and even alleged to be threatened by her henchmen.
Heera Gold is rumoured to have lost large sums of money in the Karnataka elections, which allegedly triggered panic among the company’s investors.
However, despite mounting cases against her, Shaik last week announced her party will contest all 119 seats in the Telangana Legislative Assembly elections 2018.
According to the police, Nowhera Shaik is heading over 15 companies, operating under different names. Most of these companies are not even registered on the Registrar of Companies (ROC).