The Mumbai Crime Branch said on Tuesday that they have so far not found any evidence indicating that actor Shilpa Shetty had an active role in the ongoing pornography case that her husband Raj Kundra was arrested for.
However, the investigation is still on, the police added.
Kundra, the owner of Viaan Industries Ltd, was arrested by the Mumbai Police on Monday as the “key conspirator” in connection with a case involving pornographic films. He has been remanded to police custody till July 23.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the Mumbai Police said Kundra was arrested based on video clips which were found in his office.
“During the raid, we found evidence on the basis of which we arrested Kundra. We found agreement papers, emails, accounts, WhatsApp chats and pornographic clips from his office during the search,” said Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police Milind Bharambe.
According to the Mumbai Police, the investigation had begun in February but they could not arrest Kundra earlier due to lack of evidence.
It was only after the arrest of Umesh Kamat, an associate of Kundra, that the latter’s role in the porn racket became clear. After several hours of interrogation, Kundra was finally arrested on Monday.
“It was found that small artists, especially women, were lured on the pretext of providing them a break in web series. They were asked to perform ‘bold’ scenes that turned into semi-nude and nude scenes against their wishes. Nine accused have been arrested so far in the matter,” said Bharambe.
He further said that the accused sent the pornographic content thus filmed to a UK production company Kenrin, which is registered there by Kundra’s brother-in-law, through WeTransfer and the same was uploaded on various apps using foreign IP addresses to evade Indian law.
“The content creation and operations of Hotshots app were all carried out through Kundra’s company Viaan,” added Bharambe.
Soon after Kundra’s arrest, on Tuesday, YouTuber Puneet Kaur, who is based outside India, posted an Instagram Story about the time Kundra approached her through DM (direct message) regarding Hotshots. She also posted a video clip from her original video where she spoke about receiving the surprising DM from the verified account that she thought was hacked.
Actor and producer Gehana Vasisth, who had also been arrested previously in the same case, denied making pornographic films and claimed that they were ‘erotica’.
Through Tuesday’s press conference, Joint Commissioner Bharambe also appealed to the victims in this case to come forward to the Crime Branch and register a complaint.