Pornography Case: Raj Kundra, who lives in Mumbai with his wife Shilpa Shetty and two children, faces charges like cheating and “obscene and indecent advertisements and displays”.
A day after arresting businessman Raj Kundra, husband of actor Shilpa Shetty, the Mumbai Police today arrested his aide Ryan Thorpe in a snowballing scandal involving the production and streaming of porn films.
The police described Raj Kundra, 45, as a “key conspirator” of the case and said it had sufficient evidence against him.
“There was a case registered with the Crime Branch Mumbai in February 2021 about the creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some Apps. We’ve arrested Mr. Raj Kundra in this case on 19/7/21 as he appears to be the key conspirator of this. We have sufficient evidence regarding this,” the Mumbai police commissioner said in a statement on Monday evening.
Nine arrests have been made so far.
The case was registered on February 4 after a woman approached the police and complained about being forced to do a porn film after being promised an acting job, a police officer quoted by PTI said.
“On that basis, the FIR was registered and the case transferred to the Crime Branch. Earlier also, we had registered cases related to pornography in which an actress and some other persons were made accused,” the officer said.
Mr. Kundra, who lives in Mumbai with his wife Shilpa Shetty and two children, faces charges like cheating and “obscene and indecent advertisements and displays”. Charges under the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act have also been listed against him. These could potentially lead to five to seven years in jail.
The prominent businessman, who was earlier linked to IPL match-fixing charges, was questioned after Umesh Kamat, caught for uploading obscene videos through a UK firm, named him. The company was allegedly set up by Mr. Kundra and his brother and registered in the UK so it could evade Indian cyber-laws. Laws against publishing and transmitting “obscene material” are tough in the country, though watching pornography in private is legal.
The porn films were allegedly shot in India, transferred using WeTransfer to the UK, and released on paid mobile apps. The police said the films were shot in houses and hotels rented in Mumbai. Models were allegedly pulled in with promises of film offers and then forced to shoot porn.
In 2015, he was banned for life from all cricket-related activities following an investigation into match-fixing during his stint as the co-owner with Shilpa Shetty of the Rajasthan Royals.