Rahat, Maroof Pay Rs 15 Lakh Penalty Each

New Delhi
Rahat, Maroof Pay Rs 15 Lakh Penalty Each
Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his manager Maroof each paid Rs 15 lakh today by way of penalty slapped on them in connection with the huge amount of undeclared foreign currency recovered from them.

Official sources said tonight the amount was paid to the Customs department after the matter was adjudicated. The undeclared foreign currency however remains confiscated, the sources said.

The sources said the passports were however still in the custody of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence( DRI) which is likely to hand over the travel documents to the two men tomorrow once they obtain the receipt for the payment of the penalty. Rahat and maroof are free to leave the country once the passports are handed over to them.

The duo were to board a Dubai flight when DRI sleuths detained them at Indira Gandhi International Airport here on February 13 with allegedly undeclared amount of USD 1.24 lakh (nearly Rs 60 lakh) in foreign currency.

Official sources said yesterday the duo will be allowed to leave the country once they pay the penalty imposed on them by the Customs Department. The foreign exchange will remain confiscated, the sources said.

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 later imposed a penalty of Rs 15 lakh on each of them.

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 for several hours 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.

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.

As per rules, no one can carry beyond USD 5,000 in cash and USD 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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