Date: 13th February 2001

Indian Judge Allows "Mafia backed" Film To Be Released

A Bombay court has assigned a film allegedly financed by funds from an underworld fugitive to distributor S.S. Jain and ordered him to deposit all box office receipts into the state treasury until cases against the film's producer and its chief financial backer are tried.

Negatives of the film, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, have remained in the possession of police since last December's arrest of the producer, Nasim Rizvi, and financier Bharat Shah, a prominent diamond merchant. Police claim that the $26-million movie was actually financed by an underworld figure, Chhota Shakeel, who operates out of Karachi, Pakistan. Indian officials have also suggested that other arrests may follow, claiming that 60 percent of all "Bollywood" movies are financed with underworld funds.

Source: Studio Briefing