Raj Kundra plans another app after ‘Hotshots’ blocked: Mumbai Police

An alleged WhatsApp chat between arrested businessman Raj Kundra and other members of a group in an alleged porn film racket suggested they had a ‘plan B’ after Google Play took down the OTT app ‘Hotshots’ at the center of the illegal. The activity, due to policy violations, police sources said on Wednesday. The ‘Plan B’ includes launching a new application to carry on the illegal business of creating and broadcasting pornographic material, he said.

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Kundra (45) was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch on Monday night in a case that allegedly pertained to producing obscene films and publishing them through certain apps. He is in police custody till July 23. At least four screenshots of purported WhatsApp chats have surfaced on social media, in which Kundra is purportedly seen discussing a ‘Plan B’ with another member of the ‘H Accounts’ group.

A member of the group shared a screenshot of the mail received from the Google Play team regarding the app’s status (‘hotshots’), to which Kundra reportedly replied, “…Plan B maxed out Will have launched the new app in 2-3 weeks. Live iOS and Android it’s a blessing.” During this conversation, a member named Rob Digital Marketing Hotshots asked Kundra, “Until then, can we deactivate the Play Store for all the bold movies and appeals again”, the chat showed. In another screenshot of a personal chat with a member on November 10, the member told Kundra, “Until the BF (Bolifem) is up, let’s find a way to keep the HS (hotshots) up.” Sources said that for some time there were also discussions on removing “extremely bold content” from the platform.

On October 11, members of the ‘H Accounts’ WhatsApp group discussed live revenue of Rs 1.85 lakh and film sales of Rs 4.52 lakh, which was appreciated by Kundra and his brother-in-law Pradeep Bakshi, who were reportedly part of it. A senior police officer had said on Tuesday that Kundra’s Viaan Industries has tied up with London-based Kenrin, which owns Hotshots, an OTT platform allegedly involved in publishing pornographic films.

Kenrin is owned by Kundra’s brother-in-law, he had said. Due to its objectionable content, Hotshots was suspended by the Google Play Store and Apple App Store last year.

On Monday, police had named Kundra as the “key conspirator” of the case, which was registered on February 4 at the Malwani police station in suburban Mumbai. A total of 11 people have been arrested in this case so far, the police said.

Kundra has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 420 (cheating), 34 (general intent), 292 and 293 (relating to obscene and obscene advertisements and display) besides relevant sections of the IT Act and indecent representation Is. Women (Prohibition) Act.

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