In one of the biggest sting operations conducted by India’s Network 18 Group, famous Pakistani artists like Fawad Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafaqat Amanat Ali and Imran Abbas have been exposed for large scale black money transactions in India.
Yes you read that absolutely right!!
Network 18 India, in line with its motto, conducted the sting operation over a fortnight in Mumbai and Delhi where their undercover reporters caught the agents of the Pakistani artists demanding important chunk of the fee in ‘black cash’.
For the sting operation, they were charging a fee for appearing at a wedding. It is also reported that these artistes charge their fees in two components – cheque/cash as per the contract and black, the undisclosed amount to the tax authorities either in cash or transferred to their bank accounts in Australia or Dubai.
For the sting operation conducted by Network 18, the Pakistani heartthrob, Fawad Khan’s manager demanded INR 50 lakhs for a two hours appearance and asked the payment should be made in black and white; black component being 25% and the remaining to be transferred in his UAE account.
While singers Shafaqat Amanat Ali’s manager and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s manager demanded INR 35 lakhs and INR 65 lakhs respectively, the former’s contract showed just INR 8 lakhs and INR 23 lakhs respectively, including taxes.
Additionally, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was also detained at IGI airport in February 2011 by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence against carrying around Rs 60 lakh in his bag. He was only released only after he agreed to pay a huge penalty.
Imran Abbas, who though Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will be his big ticket into Bollywood where he played the character of Lisa Haydon’s boyfriend, demanded INR 35 lakhs for a performance with INR 32 lakhs to be paid in black while the contract was to reflect a mere fee of INR 3 lakhs.
These kind of activities violated statutory laws in India as well because all the Pakistani artists are working in India on a work permit obtained through the Ministry of External Affairs. Additionally, this insistence for payment in black money also violates Service Tax and Income Tax laws.