Kundra and his associate Ryan Thorpe have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
They were arrested by the Mumbai Police on July 19 in a case involving pornography and have been accused of making pornographic videos under the pretext of producing short films for OTT platforms.
According to the Crime Branch, the accused sent the pornographic content thus filmed to a UK production company Kenrin, which is registered there by Kundra’s brother-in-law from a previous marriage Pradeep Bakshi, through WeTransfer and the same was uploaded on various apps using foreign IP addresses to evade Indian law.
On July 23, Kundra’s bail plea was rejected and he was remanded to custody until the second hearing on Tuesday.
During the second bail hearing, the investigating officer in the case told the court that Kundra was not cooperating in the interrogation. The officer also told the court that Kundra and Thorpe have refused to give proper information about the whereabouts of Bakshi and Arvind Srivastava. Srivastava is one of Kundra’s employees who, as per a Times of India report, was allegedly involved in the distribution of 90 obscene films across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the past two years
Kundra’s lawyer, however, said that he has been interrogated for over 200 hours now and has fully cooperated. He also argued that Kundra has been in the custody for a long time when he should not have been arrested in the first place.
The investigating officer, meanwhile, informed the court that the police have seized Kundra’s laptop and phone from which they have recovered WhatsApp chats regarding the revenue of Hotshot app and found traces of foreign transactions. The police have also seized two of his bank accounts and recovered nine digital files with a huge amount of data, the officer said, adding that a forensic audit is being conducted.
The Crime Branch has also appointed a financial auditor and technical experts to probe the money trail of Kundra and Shetty and their alleged involvement in the case.
ANI’s report adds that sources have said transactions worth crores were found to have been carried out from the joint account of Shetty and Kundra, which the Crime Branch suspects include the earnings from the Hotshot and Bolly Fame apps. They also suspect that the money earned from the two apps was invested in Bitcoins, according to the report.
As per another ANI report, during the Crime Branch’s raid at Kundra and Shetty’s house prior to his arrest, Shetty had a huge argument with him following which she broke down in tears saying she was unaware of any of the allegations. The ANI source also said that during the argument, Shetty told Kundra that due to his actions, their “family name is getting defamed, endorsements in the industries are being cancelled and the family is facing huge financial losses.”
Kundra had anticipated his arrest, the source said, since the Crime Branch had arrested nine people related to the case in March, and he had thrown away his old phone at the time as a precaution.
Meanwhile, the Crime Branch had also summoned actor Sherlyn Chopra to appear in the case on Tuesday. Chopra earlier shared a video following Kundra’s arrest claiming she was the first person to give a statement to the Cyber Cell regarding the case back in March.
The investigation of the alleged porn racket began in February, but Kundra was arrested only 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.
So far, 11 people including Kundra have been arrested in connection to the case.