The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday has attached assets worth about Rs.300 crores in connection with its money laundering probe against notorious Ponzi Queen Nowhera Shaikh. The properties belong to Nowhera Shaik of Heera Group of Companies and others and are spread across multiple states. For the past 15 years, Nowhera Shaikh, headquartered in Hyderabad had spread her business in all South Indian states in the name of illegal Islamic-banking-kind chit funds.
The agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attachment of the assets valued at Rs 299.99 crore, it said. “The attached assets comprise 96 immovable properties located in Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh worth Rs.277.29 crores in the form of agricultural lands, commercial plots, residential buildings, commercial complexes and balances in bank accounts worth Rs.22.69 crores,” the ED said in a statement.
For the past 15 years, Nowhera Shaikh was running her fraudulent micro financing-kind business mixing religion and fooled more than two lakhs of people in South India. She was arrested in May for cheating people of more than Rs.3000 crores.
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.
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.
 Tirupati rises as one to oppose Islamic University – Oct 21, 2013, The Pioneer
 Nowhera Shaikh: From trading in gold to launching of party, her life is full of twists – Nov 6, 2018 – The Times of India