The Mumbai crime branch has made 11th arrested in the ongoing case of alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation racket on Wednesday. The accused, identified as Ashish Abidur Choudhary, was arrested on Wednesday morning soon after he surrendered before the investigators.
According to the police, Choudhary’s wife is a director in Crystal Broadcast, a channel distributor company. However, Ashish looks after the day to day working of the company. “During the investigations, it was revealed that Choudhary used to pay Rs 5 lakh per channel to Kolawade for the rigging of TRP of four channels. Kolawade then paid the money to Relationship Managers as payments to households to watch a particular channel in order to increase the channel's viewership rating. So far, we have come across names of Republic Bharat and Wow music for whom Kolawade was being paid by Choudhary, said API Sachin Waze, who is a part of the investigation.
The investigation also revealed that Choudhary and Kolawade were dealing with each for close to two years and last payment was made to Kolawade in August which was of Rs 4 lakh, added Waze. We have also come across huge transactions between Crystal and Max media, a company belonging to Kolawade, added the officer.
Police on Wednesday produced Choudhary along with Abhishek Kolawade, Ramji Verma and Dinesh Vishwakarma before the court. Verma and Vishwakarma were sent to Judicial custody while Choudhary and Kolawade were sent to police custody till Monday.
The crime branch unearthed TRP manipulation scam has so far recorded 46 statements in the case. The police have also issued summons to investors in a couple of channels, asking them to appear for questioning.
Following the proceedings, Mumbai police have received at least 100 complaints of landing page and other complaints related to cable operators and channels from all over India. A crime branch officer also said it is likely that hawala transactions were likely carried out during this scam.