Shivamogga (Karnataka): Nowhera Shaikh, who is accused of cheating investors through her firm Heera Gold, was sent to six-day police custody by a local court here on Monday.
Shaikh, who also runs Mahila Empowerment Party, was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate Lakshmi Narayan Bhat who sent her to police custody until August 3 for further questioning in the case.
Heera Group is accused of fraudulently collecting investments from lakhs of innocent victims on the promise of providing very high returns of approximately 36 per cent by indulging in gold trading. The scheme was unsustainable and the group has defaulted in the repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had in May arrested Shaikh and two of her associates on charges of money laundering in the controversial Ponzi-like scheme.
“The accused were fraudulently running a money circulation scheme. Multiple FIRs have been registered by the aggrieved depositors across the country against Nowhera Shaikh and others”, the ED had said in a statement.
During the course of ED investigation, it was revealed that the accused persons and their group companies have collected more than Rs 3000 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.
The ED’s investigations also revealed that the group companies do not have any substantial actual business activity by which they can earn the promised profits or returns.
The investigation also established that Shaikh 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, and others.