The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it has attached immovable and movable assets worth Rs 78.63 crore in connection with an investment fraud case in which one Nowhera Sheikh, and others have been named as accused.
The current attachment included properties worth Rs 37.58 crore of a Hyderabad-based firm SA Builders & Developers wherein Syed Akhtar is partner, and the bank balance of Rs 41.05 crore of a Bangaluru based builder, Neelanchal Technocrats Pvt. Ltd. (Sallarpuria Group).
Prior to this, the ED had provisionally attached properties worth Rs 300 crore in the same case.
In 2018, the ED registered the money laundering case against Nowhera Sheikh and others who had collected more than Rs 5,000 crore from public as investment against false promise of unreasonably high 36 per cent annual return on investment but failed to repay even the principal amounts. Thus, they duped thousands of innocent investors.
The ED learnt that Sheik and her Heera Group of companies had transferred Rs 148 crore to one SA Builders and Developers for purchasing properties situated at Tolichowki, Hyderabad but properties only worth Rs 70 crore were actually registered which were earlier attached in the hands of Heera Group.
The remaining funds of Rs 78 crore which were part of crime proceeds were found to be parked with the SA Builders and Developers.
The ED also learnt that SA Builders and Developers had transferred Rs 41 crore out of above Rs 78 crore to Neelanchal Technocrats Pvt. Ltd and 4 other shell entities in Kolkata and Shillong. All these funds were ultimately routed back to Sallarpuria Sattva group as loans.
The ED had in November conducted searches at the office of the Sallarpuria Sattva group in Bangalore and unearthed the above money trail and subsequently attached immovable properties and bank balances of Rs 78 crore as equivalent value of the crime proceeds.