Actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra, in the net over production of pornographic films, paid Rs 25 lakh to the Mumbai Crime Branch officials to evade arrest till now, a wanted accused in the case has alleged.
The firm of Arvind Srivastava alias Yash Thakur, named as the kingpin of the racket in March, had complained to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) via an email the same month, Mid-Day reported. The ACB then sent it to the Mumbai police chief’s office in April. The city officers have, however, refused to comment. On Wednesday, crime branch raided Kundra’s Andheri office.
The complainant to the ACB was Fliz Movies, previously known as Nuefliks, a US-based firm. Police had named the firm in March and seized two of its owner Srivastava’s bank accounts having about Rs 4.5 crore.
In the email, Nuefliks also claimed that a “demand, through a police informer, to pay an equal amount was also made to the firm”.
Mumbai crime branch is examining 70 videos allegedly produced on orders of Kundra. Sources told News18 that 70 porn videos were produced by different small-time production houses. All these production houses are under scanner now of the property cell, a source added.
Besides these, 90 videos made specifically for Kundra-owned ‘Hotshots’ app are being examined by the investigating team. Some are over 20 to 30 minutes long in duration, the source said.
On Monday, the police had described Kundra as the “key conspirator" of the case, which was registered on February 4 at the Malwani police station in suburban Mumbai. In all, 11 persons have been arrested so far in the case, the police have said.
Kundra has been booked under sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention), 292 and 293 (related to obscene and indecent advertisements and displays) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides relevant sections of the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
Amid the controversy, the lawyer of Shilpa Shetty’s husband has defended the content produced by the businessman, saying that it is what web shows are working on these days - vulgar content. He added that the clips cannot be classified as porn.