The officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on 13th February intercepted Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan along with his nephew and manager, Maroof, at Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi as they were leaving for Dubai, and recovered foreign currency worth about Rs. 64 lakh from their baggage. About $50,000 in cash were found in Khan’s check-in baggage, another $50,000 in his aide’s check-in baggage and $24,000 in the aide’s hand bag. The group was also carrying two demand drafts of $10,000 and $8,646. Carrying so much cash is a violation of the Customs Act and the Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act. With the intervention of Pakistani diplomats, Khan was released from detention on February 15. His visa was extended but his interrogation and the investigation will continue. The DRI officials grilled Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for over 12 hours on February 17. Based on information provided by Khan and his associates, DRI officials raided some hawala operators in Bombay and allegedly seized incriminating documents and currency. DRI officials also searched the offices of Cosmos Bon Voyage Forex in Andheri (Bombay) as part of its investigation in the case.
The singer and his manager Maroof have been slapped with a penalty of Rs 15 lakh and will be allowed to leave the country after they cough up the fine imposed by the Customs Department. The foreign exchange will remain confiscated. 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 norms, no one can carry beyond US $5,000 in cash and US $5,000 in other instruments. A person has to declare the amount if he is carrying more than this to the Customs Department.