Raj Kundra case: Mumbai Police records Shilpa Shetty’s statement, actor says content on HotShots app is erotica-India News , Firstpost

Kundra’s two bank accounts in Union Bank of Africa and Yes Bank are under scanner, as it being alleged that revenue from the HotShots app was being used by the businessman for online betting

Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch on Friday recorded the statement of actress Shilpa Shetty in connection with her husband Raj Kundra’s alleged business of pornographic films. Kundra was arrested on 19 July for allegedly financing pornographic films through apps and using the proceeds for betting.

Sources have told CNN-News18 that the actress has pleaded not guilty, adding that she was not aware of the application hosting porn films. She has said that no pornographic content was produced and circulated on the HotShots app and that most of its content was only erotica. She was also quizzed about JL Stream, the online streaming portal still available in India that produces adult content.

The police claimed that Kundra had plans to sell 119 adult films to a person for a sum of $1.2 million. Separately, an investigation officer said that the police also wanted to probe the alleged transfer of funds from a South Africa-based sports betting firm into Kundra’s bank account.

Kundra’s two bank accounts in Union Bank of Africa and Yes Bank are under scanner, as it is alleged that revenue from the HotShots app was being used by the businessman for online betting.

Kundra was arrested under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act. He, along with his company’s IT head Ryan Thorpe, was produced before the magistrate after their earlier remand expired on Friday. Seeking the duo’s further custody, the police told the court that the probe found that Kundra set up Armsprime Media Pvt Ltd, which, through London-based Kenrin Pvt Ltd, bought the Hot Shots app to upload “objectionable videos” on social media.

Kundra’s phone contained WhatsApp chats regarding Kenrin and its economic transactions. Searches at the accused’s office led to the seizure of 51 obscene videos, the police said. An employee who handled accounts of Hotshots told investigators that between August 2019 and November 2020 it earned a net profit of GBP 4,000 to 10,000 per month, police said, adding that Kundra’s company Viaan Industries was involved in the maintenance of the app.

Viaan’s employees told the police that the app was removed from Google Play in June 2020 and the Apple app store in November as it had obscene content, the remand plea said. Thorpe allegedly directed the employees to remove all data related to the Hotshots app after a case was registered in February this year, so IPC sections related to “destruction of evidence” have been added to the case, the police said.

The police also wanted to record the statements of the women who were allegedly lured and forced into acting in porn films by the accused, the application said.

Shetty was questioned on the same day when a Mumbai court extended Kundra and Thorpe’s custody till 27 July. Searches were also conducted at Shetty and Kundra’s Juhu residence, from where a laptop was seized.

Kundra moved the Bombay High Court, seeking quashing of the lower court’s order remanding him in police custody. He claimed that the alleged porn videos in question might be described as “lascivious” but do not show “explicit sexual acts”.

Kundra had previously claimed that he sold off his business to his brother-in-law in the UK, but property cell officers found that Kundra had lied, according to News18. Through investigation, it has come to light that Kundra was actively involved in day-to-day decisions in the operation of the HotShots app.

Police sources say WhatsApp groups created for the functioning of the porn racket hint at Kundra’s involvement. In one of the groups, where he is an admin, participants monitored erotic videos, or soft porn, of other web portals and apps to ensure that they aren’t stolen from Kundra’s company. Another WhatsApp group was used to discuss actors, storylines, edits, locations, crew members, and final rollout.

With inputs from agencies

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