Rahat, associates released but can’t leave India

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 00:32

New Delhi/Mumbai: Pakistani sufi singer
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and two members of his troupe were
released by DRI on Monday pending probe, a day after they were
detained for their undeclared USD 1.24 Lakh(about Rs 60 lakh).

As investigations continued to find out the source of the
huge amount of foreign currency, the three men were freed
after being asked by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
(DRI) to surrender their passports and appear again for
questioning after three days.

The DRI did not file any case against the detainees and
let them go after vigorous questioning. They were also asked
not to leave the country.

Pakistani diplomatic channels were also activated and
High Commission officials in New Delhi tried to get a Consular
access to him, sources said.

Three High Commission officials came to zonal
headquarters of the DRI where questioning of the singer was
underway but left after about 30 minutes, sources said.

Khan (37) along with his manager Maaroof and event
manager Chitresh Shrivastava were detained yesterday from
Indira Gandhi International Airport while they were on their
way to Lahore via Dubai after an alleged undeclared USD 1.24
lakh were recovered from the three men who were part of a
16-member troupe.
The officials subjected the singer to the questioning
throughout the day while searches were conducted
simultaneously on the premises of "Eyeline Telefilm and
Events" in Mumbai, owned by Chitresh, elder brother of
bollywood singer Aadesh Shrivastava.

Sources privy to the investigations claimed that the
sleuths found Rs 51 lakh in cash which was seized besides some
documents.

When contacted Adesh said that he was not aware of any
developments as he had been bed ridden for many days while
another brother of Chitresh, Vishal Shrivastava disconnected
the phone call made to him for his reaction about the search.
The sources said questioning of Chitresh, who was also
been detained yesterday, was being carried out on the alleged
cash seizure made from his Mumbai premises.

"The DRI officers found altogether Rs 1.24 Lakh USD which
is equivalent to about Rs 60 lakhs. 24,000 USD were found from
the baggage carried by Rahat while the remaining 50,000 USD
each were found from the baggage of two troupe members,"
Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairman S Dutt Majumdar
had said.

He said there were "clear violations of excise laws"
and the currency carried by them was "much above" the allowed
limit.

As per norms, no one can carry beyond USD 5,000 in cash
and 5,000 USD in other instruments. The person has to declare
the amount if he is carrying more than this to the Customs
Department.

The recovered foreign currency also included USD
10,000 and USD 8,600 in demand drafts, sources said.

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 and his entire troupe, numbering around 16,
including his manager Maroof and event manager were detained
by the authorities while they were on their way to Lahore from
Dubai by an Emirates flight.

He is rated as a one of the top playback singer of
Hindi film industry who 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`.

The Pakistani singer was intercepted by DRI personnel
around 4 PM yesterday by the officials who acted on tip-off,
the sources said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 00:32

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