The long arm of the law has finally caught up with Nowhera Shaikh
Nowhera Shaikh, who fooled more than two lakh investors is now caught by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on fake micro-financing and gold distribution, and illegal Islamic Banking-Finance schemes. She committed several frauds using religion and crookery for the past 15 years, thanks to the support she enjoyed from bent politicians and pliable media houses, which accepted crores-worth advertisements about her illegal Ponzi schemes. She and her firm Heera Group cheated investors in India and the Gulf region by promising big returns through investing in an illegal gold import scheme. Investigators believe that she had collected more than Rs.3000 crores by cheating lakhs of people.
Born in a poor family in Tirupati, Nowhera Shaikh (45) started her first business as a vegetable vendor. She is a Class-12 dropout and appended a Doctorate to her name. Nowhera first landed in controversy by floating an illegal ‘International Islamic University’ in 2013 in an area belonging to the Tirupati Temple during the Congress regime. She claimed that she had got a Doctorate in Islamic Studies from a University in Sri Lanka and had attended senior courses from a Madrassa.
She even started operations in African countries for importing gold and fooling people. She cleverly mixed religion with her business and would preach “against interest and prefer profit” by investing in her firms.
When controversies erupted, she abandoned the illegal Islamic University project and escaped from legal actions due to her clout. There were several controversies on installing Islamic University very near to the Tirupati Temple. Many media houses knew all the illegalities, but kept silent and were accepting big ticket advertisements from her Heera Group. It is widely believed that she is acting as a front for many hawala operators and their patron politicians. Investigators believe that several politicians in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu allowed her to run all kinds of fake Ponzi schemes to launder their ill-gotten money.
Nowhera Shaikh married in 2007 and divorced in 2014, and has a daughter. From the mid-80s, she engaged in micro financing schemes through poor ladies and developed her Ponzi related activities across South India and Mumbai. Investigators found that she had floated around 20 companies with 300 bank accounts and is having businesses in all Gulf countries from 2010 onwards. Due to thousands of complaints about her duping, in October 2018, she came under the radar of the ED and other agencies including the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Her troubles started after she began operations in Mumbai. Many started complaining about her illegal Islamic financing and banking methods.
In 2012, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi registered a complaint against her for duping thousands of people thru fake financial schemes. There were allegations that Congress leaders saved her from the Hyderabad MP’s complaint. In 2016, Nowhera Shaikh conducted a press conference accusing her divorced husband of extortion of 10-kilogram gold for releasing her daughter. Her ex-husband Mohammed Sanaullah Qureshi known as Salman is doing real estate business and accused her of smuggling 200-kilogram gold from Dubai.
In 2017, she even started a political party titled All India Mahila Empowerment Party with crores of rupees-worth advertisements across all media outlets in the country. In the Karnataka Assembly elections in 2018, she fielded candidates in all seats and was pumping advertisements in the media.
She even started operations in African countries for importing gold and fooling people. She cleverly mixed religion with her business and would preach “against interest and prefer profit” by investing in her firms. She is believed to have duped more than two lakh people through her fake gold investment schemes. Even the Gulf newspapers reported her arrest by the ED.
 Nowhera Shaikh: From trading gold to launching a party, her career was full of twists – Nov 5, 2018, The Times of India
 Heera Group Ponzi scam mastermind gets 7-day custody – May 15, 2019, GulfNews.com
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