Pakistani singer Rahat, four others questioned by DRI

New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Pakistani sufi singer Rahat FatehAli Khan and four others were today questioned by theDirectorate of Revenue Intelligence officials for allegedlycarrying USD 1.24 lakh (about Rs 60 lakh) of undeclaredforeign currency.

DRI sources said besides Rahat, his manager Maroof, ownerof an event management company Chitresh Shrivastava, and twoemployees of Mumbai-based Foreign Exchange firm were beinginterrogated at length about the source of the money and theirstatement were being recorded by the officials.

They said there were possible evidence of registering acase under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against37-year-old Khan and two of his associates.

However, sources did not immediately confirm the futurecourse of action as the questioning was continuing lateevening.

The trio were detained on February 13 from Indira GandhiInternational Airport here while they were on their way toLahore via Dubai with their 16-member troupe.

Soon after their detention, searches were conductedsimultaneously on the premises of "Eyeline Telefilm andEvents" in Mumbai, owned by Chitresh, elder brother ofbollywood singer Aadesh Shrivastava.

Sources privy to the investigations claimed that thesleuths found Rs 51 lakh in cash which was seized besides somedocuments.

Khan''s detention had activated Pakistani diplomaticchannels as High Commission officials in New Delhi tried toget a Consular access to him, sources said.

Khan was questioned by DRI officials on February 14 andasked to appear before them today.

As per norms, no one can carry beyond USD 5,000 in cashand USD 5,000 in other instruments. The person has to declarethe amount if he is carrying more than this to the CustomsDepartment.

Meanwhile, authorities here have extended singer''s visato 10 more days after its expiry on February 14, sources said.

Khan is rated as a one of the top playback singer ofHindi film industry who has several hit numbers to his credit.

He won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer thisyear for ''Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji'' from the movie ''Ishqiya''.

In a related move, Enforcement Directorate and the IncomeTax department are likely to approach the DRI to garnerinformation about the source of undeclared foreign currency.

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