Will repay investors, claims Heera Group MD Nowhera Shaikh after release from jail
Dressed in a black burqa with a matching hijab which had diamonds embroidered on it, a smiling and confident Nowhera Shaikh, the Managing Director of Heera Group, walked into the hall in her office in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on Saturday. Once settled, she addressed her first press meet after being granted bail by the Supreme Court.
While only the media was strictly allowed for the press meet, her coterie ensured others, especially investors, were not allowed into the press conference. Nowhera began the address by recollecting how she has been instrumental in the empowerment of women, especially from the Muslim community. “I taught women how to do business and empowered them. Since 1998 when the Heera Group was established, we have been instrumental in empowering a lot of women,” said Nowhera.
She went on to claim how she had been made to go through so much for “a small GST problem that surfaced”. “From 1998 to 2018, the company functioned smoothly. I was not even given a notice before my arrest. I spent almost two and a half years in jail.”
While she spoke about those targeting her and named Asaduddin Owaisi and “his people” as those responsible for all that happened to her, investors hoped she would speak about repaying them. She demanded that her voice reach the finance minister of the country when she warned, “India’s economy will crash if CEOs like me are arrested”. “I salute the Indian constitution and Indian judiciary and I was sure that I will get justice,” said Nowhera.
In between all the allegations and claims, Nowhera announced, “Heera Group is ready to make its payments. We never ran away nor will we ever run away. The company will bring in new policies and will achieve greater heights.”
Her announcement clearly indicated that she plans to continue her investment scheme which was all this while touted as a ponzi scheme that had allegedly cheated more than a lakh investors. “We have signed documents of all our investors saying that in profit or in loss, they will be with the company. We have not cheated anyone,” asserted Nowhera.
When asked how she planned to repay the investors considering her company’s accounts have been frozen, Nowhera said, “Some of our accounts have been released and very soon, the others will also be released. We have assets worth Rs 5000 crore in Telangana and that is enough to repay all the investors.” On how long it would take for her to repay the investors, she said, “It depends on several factors. I will sit with my investors and talk to them personally. They will either be given the option to withdraw their money or keep their money invested with the company. Depending on what they decide, we will know how much time it will take to repay them all.”
Nowhera said the Central Crime Station (CCS) had frozen the company data and hence they are unaware about details of the investors and about how much needs to be paid to them. “Two weeks are needed for CCS to provide us the data about the investors. After we get that, we will start repaying everyone,” said Nowhera.
She also rubbished claims that her company had 1.72 lakh investors as reported by the media. She said both the figures and the number of investors being claimed are incorrect. When asked what the right figures are, she replied, “We will have to check the data and only then we will know the right figures.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, while laying down conditions for her bail, has directed her to repay the investors. The Heera Group, just to comply with the apex court’s order, issued cheques to some of the investors who had filed cases against Nowhera.