The Enforcement Directorate has arrested three persons, including two women, in a money laundering case in Hyderabad, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
The arrested persons — Nowhera Shaikh, Molly Thomas and Biju Thomas — allegedly executed a money circulation scheme and collected over ₹3000 crore from over a lakh of people on the pretext of investments, according to the ED. The agency initiated investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of first information reports (FIRs) registered by Telangana Police against the three and Hyderabad-based Heera Group of companies.
“The scheme was unsustainable and the group has defaulted in the repayment of the principal amount and promised returns to its investors. During the investigation, it is revealed that the accused persons and their group companies collected more than ₹3,000 crore from 1,72,114 investors across India on the pretext of investments,” the agency said in a statement. These deposits, it added, were collected from victims in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and other states in India and also from non-resident Indians living in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.
“The group of companies does not have any substantial actual business activity by which they can earn the promised profits/returns…,” the ED stated. The arrested persons have been sent to 7-day ED custody by a special court in Hyderabad.
May 16, 2019 00:31 IST