Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pakistani singer Rahat Ali Khan, manager fined Rs 15 lakh each

NEW DELHI: Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his manager Maroof have been slapped with a penalty of Rs 15 lakh each in connection with recovery of huge amount of foreign currency from them which stands confiscated, official sources said on Sunday.

The duo were to board a Dubai flight when the sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence detained them at Indira Gandhi International Airport on February 13 with allegedly undeclared amount of $1.24 lakh (nearly Rs 60 lakh) and some other instruments too in foreign currency.

After completing its probe, the DRI has charged them with violating provisions of the FEMA and Customs Act and sent the matter for adjudication to customs, they said.
The customs department imposed a penalty of Rs 15 lakh on each of them but they have not paid the penalty yet, they said.

The investigations against event manager Chitresh Shrivastava, who is under detention, and two foreign exchange dealers of Mumbai, would continue, the sources said.

The DRI had questioned Rahat (37) and Maroof about the money recovered and payments received during their shows in the country and the mode of money transfer.

It had also quizzed a number of other persons in the case which included his event managers.

Meanwhile, the agency sleuths had raided the premises of "Eyeline Telefilm and Events" in Mumbai, owned by Chitresh Shrivastava, elder brother of Bollywood singer Aadesh Shrivastava.

Sources privy to the investigations claimed the sleuths found Rs 51 lakh in cash from the company which was seized besides some documents which could be helpful in the probe being carried out by the DRI.

Rahat and his entire 16-member troupe, including Maroof and the event manager, were detained by the authorities. The troupe was on in its way to Lahore via Dubai. Rahat was quizzed by DRI officials for 10 hours on Thursday.

As per norms, no one can carry beyond $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in other instruments. A person has to declare the amount if he is carrying more than this to the customs department.

According to sources, the payments by an event manager to Rahat were made in Indian currency and US dollars and these people were allegedly found converting the dollars to Indian rupees "through unauthorised channels".

Rahat is rated as a one of the top playback singers of Hindi film industry and has several hit numbers to his credit. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer this year for 'Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji' from the movie 'Ishqiya' and his first Bollywood hit was 'Laagi Tumse Mann Ki Lagan' from the film 'Paap'.

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