Pakistani singer Rahat, four others questioned by DRI

Pakistani singer Rahat, four others questioned by DRI

Pakistani singer Rahat, four others questioned by DRI

Pakistani sufi singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and four others were today questioned by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials for allegedly carrying USD 1.24 lakh (about Rs 60 lakh) of undeclared foreign currency.

DRI sources said besides Rahat, his manager Maroof, owner of an event management company Chitresh Shrivastava, and two employees of Mumbai-based Foreign Exchange firm were being interrogated at length about the source of the money and their statement were being recorded by the officials.

They said there were possible evidence of registering a case under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against 37-year-old Khan and two of his associates.

However, sources did not immediately confirm the future course of action as the questioning was continuing late evening.

The trio were detained on February 13 from Indira Gandhi International Airport here while they were on their way to Lahore via Dubai with their 16-member troupe.

Soon after their detention, 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.

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

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

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

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

Khan 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'.

In a related move, Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department are likely to approach the DRI to garner information about the source of undeclared foreign currency.