Arvind Srivastava aka Yash Thakur has denied all the allegations against him in the pornography case involving actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband businessman Raj Kundra and claimed that he is a victim of extortion, ETimes reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Srivastava sent a letter to the Mumbai Police through his lawyer saying that he has filed an application in the magistrate court requesting that his and his family’s bank accounts be unfrozen.
Srivastava also claimed that he has been getting extortion calls since January about his association with the website Nuefliks.com that allegedly uploads X-rated content. “I told the caller that I am not the owner of the company and I cannot pay. I was threatened to be framed and later all this happened in February,” ETimes quotes him as saying.
The investigation of the alleged porn racket began in February, but Kundra was arrested only on July 19 after the Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch conducted a raid of his office and procured ‘strong evidence’ in the form of agreement papers, emails, accounts, WhatsApp chats and pornographic clips.
During Kundra’s second bail hearing on July 27, the investigating officer had told the court that the businessman and his associate Ryan Thorpe had refused to give proper information about the whereabouts of Arvind Srivastava. According to the police, he is one of Kundra’s employees who was allegedly involved in the distribution of 90 obscene films across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the past two years.
In an interview to Mid-Day, Srivastava alias Thakur said he is a Singapore national who is a middleman for Nuefliks. “I do outsourcing for multiple companies and my job profile is to manage servers, OTT platform solution design, find people with skills on social media, and get the content submitted to Nuefliks platform. I use Yash Thakur as my social media identity and my real name is Arvindkumar Srivastava. I am hired by Nueflliks as a freelance consultant for managing operations,” he added.
He had also claimed that Kundra had paid Rs 25 lakh to the police during the initial days of the probe and that he is being framed by the police for refusing to pay up.
As per the Mid-Day report, according to a chargesheet filed in April, Srivastava procured porn videos from production houses and uploaded them on his website Nuefliks.com. It also mentioned that there were financial transactions and WhatsApp chats between him and several of the co-accused, including actor Gehna Vasisth, Tanvir Hashmi, Rowa Khan, and Kundra’s associate Umesh Kamat.
Srivastava, however, claims that Nuefliks is an OTT platform based in California. He reportedly shared papers with Mid-Day to support this. The report also quotes him as saying, “Whatever videos and contents we have purchased all are erotica and not pornography. I do not own Nuefliks company and same has been conveyed to the Mumbai crime by Nuefliks on their letterhead. The company has also informed them about the bribe demand from a middleman who said I needed to pay Rs 18 to 20 lakh to sort out everything.”
So far, 11 people including Kundra have been arrested in connection to the case.