The Hyderabad city police arrested Mahila Empowerment Party (MEP) chief Nowhera Shaik, who is also director of the Heera Group of Companies, which reportedly trades in gold.

City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, who announced the arrest of Nowhera Shaik at a press conference here on Tuesday, said she was accused by several persons of cheating them after collecting deposits in the name of investments.

“Nowhera Shaik was operating about 15 companies under the banner of Heera Group of Companies. Many companies are involved in collection of deposits/investments in different modes of gold schemes from the public, wherein these companies promise a return of around 36 per cent per annum for the investment amount. 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 across the country,” the Commissioner said.

During the investigation, the police found that huge money was diverted to purchase assets in different names of individuals as well as companies. “Many investors have not been paid their dues since the last few months by the accused companies. The companies and other accused have not cooperated with police or provided relevant information during course of investigation. Nowhera Shaik also made efforts to mislead the police and avoid investigation,” he said.

The companies have more than 160 bank accounts across India and the details of their transactions are being sought from the banks concerned. Different properties have been identified and necessary action under the Telangana Deposits of Financial Establishment Act 1999 and The Prize and Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978 is under consideration, he added.

The arrest was made in connection with a case registered at Banjara Hills police station recently and later transferred to the Central Crime Station. Earlier too, one case was registered against Shaik in 2012 by the CCS police and is under investigation.

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