Rahat, Maroof slapped with Rs 15 lakh penalty each

New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI) Pakistani singer Rahat FatehAli Khan and his manager Maroof have been slapped with apenalty of Rs 15 lakh each in connection with recovery of hugeamount of foreign currency from them which stands confiscated,official sources said today.

The duo were to board a Dubai flight when the sleuthsof Directorate of Revenue Intelligence detained them at IndiraGandhi International Airport here on February 13 withallegedly undeclared amount of USD 1.24 lakh (nearly Rs 60lakh) and some other instruments too in foreign currency, thesources said.

The duo will be allowed to leave the country afterthey pay the penalty imposed on them by the CustomsDepartment. The foreign exchange will remain confiscated, thesources said.

After completing its probe, the DRI has charged themwith violating provisions of the FEMA and Customs Act and sentthe matter for adjudication to Customs, they said.

The Customs department imposed a penalty of Rs 15 lakhon each of them but they have not paid the penalty yet, theysaid.

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

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

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

Meanwhile, the agency sleuths had raided the premisesof "Eyeline Telefilm and Events" in Mumbai, owned by ChitreshShrivastava, elder brother of Bollywood singer AadeshShrivastava.

Sources privy to the investigations claimed thesleuths found Rs 51 lakh in cash from the company which wasseized besides some documents which could be helpful in theprobe being carried out by the DRI.

Rahat and his entire 16-member troupe, includingMaroof and the event manager, were detained by theauthorities. 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 USD 5,000 incash and USD 5,000 in other instruments. A person has todeclare the amount if he is carrying more than this to theCustoms Department.

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 and 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''.

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