Rahat Ali Khan questioned
The singer was detained at the IGI airport here yesterday by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials after he and two of his troupe members were caught allegedly carrying 1.24 lakh USD (about Rs 60 lakh) in undeclared foreign currency.
Sources said Rahat was then taken to the DRI office here and questioned at length.
Rahat(37) and his entire troupe, numbering around 16, including his manager Maroof and event manager were detained.
The troupe was on in its way to Lahore via Dubai by an Emirates flight.
A nephew of Pakistani singing legend Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat is a top Bollywood playback singer and has several hit numbers to his credit. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer this year for `Dil To BachchaHai Ji` from the movie `Ishqiya`.
"The DRI officers found altogether 1,24,000 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.
The recovered foreign currency included USD 10,000 and USD 8,600 in demand drafts, sources had said.
Khan was intercepted by DRI personnel around 4 PM acting on some prior information, the sources said.
As per norms, a foreign national cannot 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.
According to sources, the payments by an event manager to Rahat was made in Indian currency and US dollars and these people were allegedly found converting the dollars to Indian rupees "through unauthorised channels".