DRI slaps FEMA on Rahat and manager; probe over

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) Pakistani Sufi singer RahatFateh Ali Khan and his manager Maroof were today slapped withcharges under FEMA and Customs Act in connection with recoveryof huge undeclared foreign currency from them at the airporthere before they were to board a Dubai flight.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence which detainedthe duo from Indira Gandhi International Airport on February13 with allegedly undeclared USD 1.24 lakh (nearly Rs 60 Lakh)and some other instruments too in foreign currency, hascompleted its probe and sent the matter for adjudication whichwill be done by the Commissioner Customs (Airports), officialsources said.

The duo will be allowed to leave the country after theypay a penalty to be determined by the Commissioner. Theforeign exchange will remain confiscated, the sources said.

The investigations against event manager ChitreshShrivastava, who is also under detention, and two foreignexchange dealers of Mumbai, would continue, the sources said.

The agency had questioned Rahat (37) and Maroof aboutthe money recovered and payments received during their showsin the country and the mode of money transfer.

It had also questioned a number of other persons in thecase which included his event managers.

Meanwhile, the agency sleuths had also raided thepremises of "Eyeline Telefilm and Events" in Mumbai, owned byChitresh Shrivastava, elder brother of Bollywood singer AadeshShrivastava.

Sources privy to the investigations claimed the sleuthsfound Rs 51 lakh in cash from the company which was seizedbesides some documents which could be helpful in the probebeing carried out by the DRI.

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

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

According to sources, the payments by an event managerto Rahat were made in Indian currency and US dollars and thesepeople were allegedly found converting the dollars to Indianrupees "through unauthorised channels".

Rahat is rated as a one of the top playback singers 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'' andhis first Bollywood hit was ''Laagi Tumse Mann Ki Lagan'' fromthe film ''Paap''. SKL ABS VMN

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