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Kundra's custody extended, Shilpa's statement recorded

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 23, 2021 21:39 IST
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A court in Mumbai on Friday extended till July 27 the police custody of businessman Raj Kundra and his associate Ryan Thorpe in a case related to alleged production and distribution of pornographic films through apps.

IMAGE: Raj Kundra (centre, in T-shirt), being taken to the magistrate's court in Mumbai, July 23, 2021. Photograph: Sahil Salvi.

The crime branch of Mumbai Police also recorded the statement of Kundra's wife and actor Shilpa Shetty in connection with the case.

Seeking his further custody, 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 alleged transfer of funds from a South Africa-based sports betting firm into Kundra's bank account.

Kundra was arrested on July 19 by the police under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

He, along with 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 WhasApp chats regarding Kenrin and its economic transactions. These conversations also revealed that he had discussed selling 119 adult films to a person for $1.2 million, police said.

They wanted to probe if this deal went through and the videos were transferred, the remand plea said.

Searches at the accused’s office led to the seizure of 51 obscene videos, the police said.

An employee who handled accounts of Hot Shots told investigators that between August 2019 and November 2020 it earned a net profit of £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 Hot Shots 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.

During the day, the police recorded Shilpa Shetty's statement in the case at her residence. They also seized a laptop from the house.

As per police, Shetty was a director of Kundra's firm for some time.

Kundra on Friday 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 did not contain any sexually explicit scenes. The petition is yet to be heard.

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