Raj Kundra may face charges of money laundering and those of violating foreign exchange rules with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) likely to register cases against him. Kundra, the husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, was arrested by the Mumbai Police late on July 19 along with 10 others in connection with a pornography case and was placed in police custody till July 23, which was later extended to July 27.
Raj Kundra has challenged in the Bombay High Court the July 20 order of a metropolitan magistrate court remanding him in police custody in connection with the alleged pornography racket.
Here is the latest in the pornography case:
1. News agency ANI reported that the central agency mandated to probe financial frauds may file cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against Kundra. ANI, reported citing people familiar with the matter, that ED may do so “anytime after July 26”.
2. Mumbai Police will inform the ED to probe the financial irregularities in the case that also involves the violation of foreign exchange. The case right now pertains to the alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps.
3. The ED will take the First Information Report (FIR) copy from Mumbai Police before starting its probe after filing a case. The ED may issue a summon against Raj Kundra under PMLA and FEMA before questioning him.
4. The Mumbai Police’s crime branch has claimed before a local court that Raj Kundra was making financial gains through this illegal business by taking subscription fees from the users of these apps.
5. Mumbai Police have also told the court that they suspect the money earned from pornography was used for online betting.
6. The ED will find out details about the claims made by the Mumbai Police over Raj Kundra’s involvement in the financial dealings of the app and its contents based on inputs about several WhatsApp chats.
7. The director of Raj Kundra’s company Viaan Industries may also be quizzed by the ED in its investigation.
8. Shilpa Shetty could also be questioned by the ED as she was the director of Kundra’s firm till last year.
9. Meanwhile, Shilpa Shetty has told the police that she had no idea about the content of the HotShots app through which her husband Raj Kundra allegedly distributed pornographic films. Shilpa Shetty has said Raj Kundra is innocent and was not involved in producing porn content.
10. Kundra has been named as the key conspirator by the Mumbai Police. He has been charged under Sections 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention), 292 and 293 (related to obscene and indecent advertisements and displays) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He also faces charges under the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act.
(With agency inputs)