Man behind 450 porn videos: A driver who lived in posh flat

Man behind 450 porn videos: A driver who lived in posh flat

The 3-BHK apartment in a residential complex close to Phoenix Mall in Whitefield was full of gizmos and was well-furnished. His neighbours were by and large execs or techies

When 26-year-old Kaushik Kuanr was arrested from an upscale apartment complex in the Whitefield tech corridor on Thursday night, its residents were both shocked and baffled. Shocked they had been harbouring a criminal in their midst, and baffled that a driver of modest means had been renting a 3-BHK in the upwardly mobile neighbourhood. If these were some ingredients of an urban nightmare, the most unpalatable was yet to come: Kaushik’s was not a petty crime. A team of sleuths from the CBI’s special team had flown into the city from New Delhi on Thursday in search of the man who had uploaded over 450 rape and pornographic videos.

That evening itself, they landed at C-1308 on the 13th floor of one of the buildings in Brigade Metropolis near Phoenix Mall in Whitefield and arrested the Std XII dropout. Kaushik, who is single and hails from a small village near Bhubaneswar in Orissa, had been staying there since January 2013. He had been ostensibly working as a driver for the past two years.

Kaushik was tracked using sophisticated cyber-forensics software and help from various internet service providers. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the various rape videos that were doing the rounds on social media and on messaging services. The apex court had specifically asked the CBI to nail the person responsible for uploading the videos.

While probing a video clip of the Sitapur, UP, gangrape, CBI sleuths found the IP address belonged to Bengaluru. Further investigation revealed three more video clips had been uploaded from the same IP address. However, when the CBI team conducted a search of Kaushik’s residence, even they were taken aback by what they saw. Prima facie evidence revealed the accused had uploaded hundreds of pornographic and exploitative video clips to various websites and social networking sites.

When BM visited the place on Friday, an elderly couple and two of the accused’s cousins with their families were present. The fully furnished posh apartment was equipped with the latest appliances. While the senior citizens refused to entertain any questions or identify themselves, police sources said they were Kaushik’s parents. “We really don’t know why he has been taken away.

CBI sleuths came on Thursday evening and took him away after taking signatures from us. All I know is it was some video clip case. We did not have any clue in the past few years that he was involved in such activities. I don’t want to reveal anything more than this,” Priyabrata Kuanr, brother of the accused, said.

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Kaushik’s family, though, stonewalled questions on how they could afford to live in the affluent locality. They refused to say if it was a rented place or if someone was putting them up. A local real estate agent said the apartment could easily command a rental of Rs 40,000 per month, excluding maintenance.

Sources in the neighbourhood said they had seen Kaushik keep late hours. However, he didn’t mingle much and hardly spoke even to the apartment security.

One of his cousins said, “CBI sleuths arrested him and took a few items from the house. We did not know what exactly he had done to be arrested. We came to know about the porn videos after seeing the newspaper today.”

CBI sleuths have recovered a high-end Samsung phone, SD card and other gadgets which he had used to upload the Sitapur rape incident. Police suspect Kaushik had accomplices from whom he sourced the video clips. Sleuths also suggest the involvement of a gang and that Kaushik had been doing it for money. With three rapists already arrested in the Sitapur case, the CBI will now probe if Kaushik had any connection with them. They also want to know if he was involved in any of the rape cases.

The 17th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court that handles CBI cases has given a transit remand warrant so that Kaushik can be taken to Sitapur for interrogation.

“On May 15, CBI sleuths produced one Kaushik to the court and they had sought four days of transit custody as they have to travel to Sitapur. As it will take more than 24 hours to reach the destination to produce him there, they produced him here in Bangalore and the court granted them transit custody,” Shivananda Perla, Public Prosecutor, 17th ACMM court (CBI cases) said.

On reaching UP, the four-member CBI team probing the case will produce him before the magistrate in Sitapur and seek police custody.

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