The Hyderabad police on Tuesday arrested prominent entrepreneur-politician Nowhera Shaikh on charges of allegedly cheating the investors. Nowhera, Managing Director of Heera Group of Companies, was arrested in New Delhi and brought to Hyderabad on a transit remand, said Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar.
The arrest was made during the course of investigation into a case booked against her at Banjara Hills police station in Hyderabad for cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation.
She was also booked under sections of the Telangana Deposits of Financial Establishment Act 1999 and The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.
The police said that they found incriminating evidence against Nowhera, who runs various businesses in India and the Middle East. She also floated the All India Mahila Empowerment Party, which contested the recent Assembly elections in Karnataka but drew a blank.
According to the police, Nowhera Shaikh is heading 15 companies under different names under the Heera Group of companies.
"Many of the companies are involved in collection of deposits/investments in different modes of gold scheme from public, where in these companies commit a return of around 36% per annum for the invested amount," a police statement said.
While the exact number of investors/depositors is not known because the companies have not disclosed complete information before the police, it is estimated that the number of depositors could be in thousands in different states across the country.
The police claimed that during investigation, evidences of diversion of funds came to light. Evidence has also been found of purchase of assets in different names of individuals as well as companies, the police said.
"Many investors have not been paid their dues since the last few months by accused companies. The companies and other accused have not cooperated with the police or provided relevant information during course of investigation. The main accused also made efforts to mislead the police and avoid the investigation," Commissioner Anjani Kumar told reporters.
According to the police, more than 160 bank accounts have been identified across India, details of which are being sought from the concerned bank.
Different properties have been identified and necessary action under the Telangana Deposits of Financial Establishment Act 1999 and The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (BANNING) Act, 1978 are under consideration, added the statement.
The Heera group was already under investigation by the Central Crime Station (CCS) division of the Hyderabad police for possible financial frauds. Cases have been booked in the past against the group for similar offences in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Officials said that more details would be revealed after a detailed investigation.