‘She had resorted to money laundering from people with terror links from UAE, Dubai and Saudi Arabia’.
Hyderabad: She entered politics amidst fanfare by contesting all 222 Assembly seats in Karnataka in May 2018 with a poll plank of achieving 50% reservations to women in law making bodies. Her All India Mahila Empowerment Party (AIMEP) had run a mass media campaign almost on par with that of leading contenders BJP, Congress and JDS.
Of course, her AIMEP has failed to win even a single seat, but would have contested all seats in Telangana and Andhra Assemblies besides the coming Parliament elections, had she not been arrested in a money laundering case four months ago. Some have accused her of being the B team of BJP or Congress, but she has denied it all.
Shaik Nowhera is a 45-year-o ld burqua clad businesswoman with an empire of over Rs 9,000 crore that deals with a range of activities from real estate to religious education, from diamonds imports to deposits mobilisation from public within and outside the country. She has huge corporate offices in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Sharjah and Dubai. She is the CEO of Heera Group of companies.
Shaik Nowhera was first arrested by Mumbai police in October first week and is being tried in different cities by different courts on charges of money laundering, cheating and default of repayment of money collected from the public through different schemes, including money circulation and multilevel marketing networks.
She was remanded to judicial custody till 10 January by a Chittoor court in Andhra on Thursday as the police registered a spate of cases against her based on complaints from the local people. Ironically, Shaik Nowhera belongs to Chittoor district and began her social and educational activities from here almost two decades ago.
The Chittoor police had told the court that Nowhera had resorted to money laundering from people with terror links from UAE, Dubai and Saudi Arabia and some of her depositors were under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Nowhera is now likely to be interrogated by the NIA sleuths, Chittooor police said.
Before 3 January, she was under the custody of Maharashtra police who had registered a clutch of cases against her for defaulting on payment of money collected from the public in the state. There are requests from the police in Karnataka where, too, similar complaints were lodged against her. Nowhera was brought to Chittoor on a prisoner transit warrant.
A product of an Ialamic madarassa, Nowhera started a madarassa for girls near the temple town Tirupati, which falls under Chittoor district in the early 1990s and gradually began her real estate and money-making schemes from here. Her offer of 36% annual interest rate had attracted huge deposits from the public in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. She has also introduced gold deposits schemes in Mumbai.
Initially, she repaid the interest and the principal amounts to the depositors, but over a period she began defaulting on her commitments. Her offer of alternate ways of repayments like gold and real estate, too, failed to convince the public. The police in Hyderabad and Bangalore have started receiving complaints from the public since 2017.
As part of an image makeover, Nowhera, who is believed to have divorced husbands twice in the past, entered politics by floating the AIMEP with the sole slogan of empowering women with 50% reservations in Assemblies and Parliament. She also sponsored a first of its kind T10 cricket match in Sharjah from 14-17 December 2017, by donating $5 million.