New Delhi: News18 India, the newly re-launched national Hindi general news channel from the Network18 Group, carried out an exposé that revealed top Pakistani film actors and singers in India are involved in large scale black money transactions. The channel, under its sting operation NamakHaraam, exposed top Pakistani personalities like Fawad Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafaqat Amanat Ali, Mawara Hocane and Imran Abbas.
In line with its motto of ‘Danke Ki Chot Par’, News18 India conducted the sting operation over a fortnight in Mumbai and Delhi. The channel’s undercover reporters caught on camera the agents of the Pakistani artists demanding majority of their fee in ‘black money’. The fee was for appearance in wedding ceremonies. While a few demanded part of the fee in cash, others wanted it transferred to their bank accounts in Australia or Dubai. The formal contract, however, reflected a paltry sum as compared to the amount agreed upon.
Renowned actor Fawad Khan’s manager demanded Rs 50 lakhs for a two hours appearance. He demanded the payment should be made in black and white. The black money component was to be 25 percent of the deal amount and rest was to be transferred to Khan’s UAE (United Arab Emirates) based bank account.
While singers Shafaqat Amanat Ali’s manager and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s manager demanded Rs 35 lakhs and Rs 65 lakhs respectively, the former’s contract showed just Rs. 8 lakhs and the latter’s 23 lakhs including taxes. It is notable that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at IGI airport in February 2011 by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. He was carrying around Rs 60 lakh at the time. He was released only after paying a penalty.
Actor Imran Abbas’s manager again demanded Rs 35 lakhs for a performance with Rs. 32 lakhs to be paid in black while the contract was to reflect a fee of just Rs 3 lakhs. Similarly, actress Mawara Hocance’s Pakistan based manager demanded Rs 50 lakhs for a two hour appearance and asked for Rs 25 lakhs in cash to be paid to her contact in Mumbai. The rest of the amount was to be transferred to Hocane’s Australian bank account.
Since all the Pakistani artists come to India on a work permit obtained through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for professional engagement, these activities violate statutory laws. The insistence for payment in black money also violates Service Tax and Income Tax laws. This conduct of the agents and managers of the Pakistani artists violate work permits rules and clearly go against the laws of the land.