Mumbai: According to police sources, claimed WhatsApp conversations between businessman Raj Kundra and other members of a group revealed he had a ‘Plan B’ in place after Google Play removed ‘Hotshots,’ the OTT app at the center of the criminal activity, due to policy violations. According to them, ‘Plan B’ entailed establishing a new application to continue the unlawful business of manufacturing and distributing pornographic content. Raj Kundra (45), the husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch on Monday night in connection with the suspected making of pornographic films and their distribution through several apps, according to the Mumbai crime branch. He is in police custody till July 23.
According to the sources, at least four screenshots of alleged WhatsApp talks have surfaced on social media in which Kundra is purportedly seen discussing the ‘Plan B’ with another member of the ‘H ACCOUNTS’ group. A member of the group posts a screenshot of a message from the Google Play Team on the app’s status (‘Hotshots,’) to which Kundra allegedly responded, “…Plan B started max 2-3 weeks the new app will be live iOS and Android it’s a blessing.”
During this exchange, a member named Rob Digital Marketing Hotshots asked Kundra, “until then, can we deactivate all the bold flicks and the Appeal again the Play store,” according to the chats. “Until BF (Bollyfame) is up, let’s find a way to support HS (Hotshots),” a member informed Kundra in another snapshot from a personal conversation on November 10.
According to the sources, there was also talk about temporarily eliminating “very bold content” from the network. On October 11, members of the WhatsApp group ‘H ACCOUNTS’ discussed live revenue of Rs 1.85 lakh and movie sales of Rs 4.52 lakh, which Kundra and his brother-in-law Pradeep Bakshi, who was also reportedly involved in the fraud, praised.
Kundra was named as a “major conspirator” in the case by the police on Monday. The case was filed on February 4 at the Malwani police station in Mumbai’s suburbs. According to the police, 11 people have been arrested so far in the case.
Kundra was charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common purpose), 292, and 293 (obscene and indecent ads and exhibitions), as well as applicable parts of the Information Technology Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.