OTT emerged with a lot of hope since it meant freedom from the fear of box office.
OTT removed Screen Writers from the bondage of box office and allowed them to tell the kind of cinema they wanted to tell, take risks and explore ideas, thoughts, narratives never ever done before in this country.But, bewilderingly some screen writers actors and producers have been looking at it from a different angle for their benefits .A fresh case comes to light of Actor, screenwriter and producer Akshat Raj Saluja who emerged as a con and getting involved in duping genuine and serious OTT Film Producers.
Akshat has been arrested by Mumbai Cyber police for his alleged involvement in the OTT scam which came to light when film producer Maan Singh registered a complaint that he was duped of Rs 48 lakh by a group of conmen who promised to upload his movies on OTT platforms and took him for a ride and collected Rs 48 lakh by showing him fake letters of service providers.Notably, Akshat, is the scripted for film ‘Om The Battle Within’, Web series ‘Shiksha Mandal’ and ‘Yaargii’ and he is also the producer of Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer ‘Dream Girl’. Infact, he is the third accused to be arrested in the case.
Earlier the Cyber police had earlier arrested Jogeshwari resident Rajat Kumar Mourya and Andheri resident Sanjay Saha. Now they are on the hunt for a woman identified as Radhika.According to claim by the Mumbai Police Police Akshat Saluja was one of the beneficiaries and had received Rs 7.5 lakh of Rs 48 lakh extracted from Singh.He has been booked for cheating, forgery, and breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Act as well as under the Information Technology Act. On Thursday, he was produced before the Borivli court, which remanded him to police custody.As per producer Maan Singh in his complaint, he wanted to release two movies – MD and Alpaviram – on an OTT platform to cater to the increased demand amid the pandemic. the accused showed him certificates purportedly obtained from OTT platforms for past releases that he had facilitated. Singh on getting convinced decided to assign him with the contract for his movies.
According to a Police officer, In January 2021, as a token amount, accused took Rs 2.5 lakh and sent Singh a WhatsApp message with a fake letter of intent from Panorama Studios mentioning its willingness to buy one of Singh’s movies for Rs 4 crore. “On the basis of this forged letter of intent, Akshat Saluja and other two accused Mourya, Saha, Radhika and Saluja extracted Rs 48 lakh from Singh.Meanwhile the Police also revealed that even actor Viveck Oberoi and filmmaker Gaurang Doshi too were cheated by this gang.