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News18 exposes 'Namak Haraam' Pakistani artistes

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MUMBAI: News18 India has 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 Namak Haraam, exposed top Pakistani personalities such as 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 artistes demanding a majority of their fee in black money. The fee was for appearance in wedding ceremonies. While a few demanded a part of the fee in cash, others wanted it transferred to their bank accounts in Australia or Dubai. The formal contract reflected a paltry sum as compared to the amount agreed upon.

Renowned actor Khan’s manager demanded Rs 50 lakh for a two-hour appearance. He demanded the payment should be made in black and white. The black money component was to be 25 per cent of the deal amount and rest was to be transferred to Khan’s UAE (United Arab Emirates) based bank account.

While singers Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali Khan’s managers demanded Rs 35 lakh and Rs 65 lakh, respectively, the former’s contract showed just Rs. 8 lakh and the latter’s 23 lakh 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. Abbas’s manager demanded Rs 35 lakh for a performance with Rs. 32 lakh to be paid in black while the contract was to reflect a fee of just Rs 3 lakh.

Similarly, Hocance’s Pakistan-based manager demanded Rs 50 lakh for a two-hour appearance and asked for Rs 25 lakh 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 artistes 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 artistrs violate work permits rules and clearly go against the laws of the land

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