Heera Group ponzi scheme accused in ED custody

Heera Group ponzi scheme accused in ED custody

Agency News

New Delhi, May 15: Enforcement Directorate(ED) got seven days custody of three accused with effect from Wednesday in connection with a case related to the fraudulent money circulation scheme of Heera Group in Hyderabad, officials said here.
The accused Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas were detained and later arrested on Monday by the probe agency and produced before the Hyderabad Metropolitan Session court on Tuesday, ED officials told UNI.

The central financial probe agency move comes after the registration of three FIRs by the Telangana Police against the three accused and Heera Group of companies.

Heera Group is accused of fraudulently collecting investments from innocent victims on the promise of providing very high returns of around 36 percent by indulging in gold trading and other activities.

The scheme was unsustainable and the group has defaulted in the repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors. The accused were fraudulently running a money circulation scheme.

Multiple FIRs have been registered by the aggrieved depositors across the country against Shaikh and others.

“During the course of investigation under PMLA, it was revealed that the accused persons and their group companies have collected more than Rs 3,000 crore from 1,72,114 investors across India on the pretext of investment. Deposits were also collected from victims in Hyderabad, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and other states in India and also from NRIs in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries,” ED officials said.

The probing agency also revealed that this group of companies did not have any substantial actual business activity by which they could earn the promised profits or returns.

Shaikh and others have diverted the collected amounts to their personal accounts through their company bank accounts and benamis for wrongful gain and amassed huge movable and immovable properties by utilising the diverted funds.

She opened 24 entities under Heera Group and 182 bank accounts were opened in different banks at different parts of the countries in the name of these 24 entities. Further, 10 bank accounts were also opened in foreign countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, the officials further said.

Kerala-based Suvan Technologies Solutions India Pvt Ltd Managing Director Biju Thomas had developed the software for the Heera Group of Companies and all the account details are maintained by his firm.

Molly Thomas, the personal assistant to Ms Shaikh was also reportedly involved in carrying out the criminal activities.

ED is questioning the accused persons in connection with their different companies, bank accounts and multiple properties identified across the country, officials added. (UNI)