Mumbai: PM Narendra Modiâs move to demonitise the existing Indian 500 and 1000 rupee denominations seems to have finally finally begun to show results. The revolutionary move had been to curb the rampant circulation of black money within and outside of the country.
News18 conducted a sting operation on the managers of top Pakistani artistes, with successful records in India, like Fwad Khan, Shafqat Amaanat Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mawra Hocane.
Posing as managers of a Delhi based industrialist, the reporters of the channel approached the artisteâs managers to get the stars to perform at the wedding of the industrialistâs daughter.
The reporters first approached Manu Kohli, Shafqatâs manager, who quoted 25 lakh rupees as the fee, exclusive of other expenses incurred and service taxes. While the deal initially seemed clean, when asked if they would like a 5-7 lakh legal transaction followed by a payment in cash on the remaining amount, Kohli readily agreed, post negotiotation. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was also bought in for a similar deal.
Post this, the reporters approached the manager of Fawad Khan, whose involvement in Karan Joharâs âAe Dil Hai Mushkilâ had been subject to widespread umbrage.
Following are excerpts from the conversation:
Reporter:Â You must have heard about our company. It is into medical products. Mr Agrawal is the owner. It is his daughter's wedding; it is the first big function in the house. Money is not the problem. His daughter and son-in-law are very excited that some celebrity should participate in the function.
Fawad's Manager:Â So you want him basically for theÂ sangeet.
Reporter:Â Actually there are five functions. Dates for four have been finalised which I have already told you. One is yet to be finalised. Will let you know. They want different celebrities for each occasion; at least for one, they want Fawad Khan. His daughter is a big fan of Fawad.
Fawad's Manager:Â Is it in Delhi?
Fawad's Manager:Â Little difficult.
Fawad's Manager:Â The issue is of him coming to Delhi. I do not think it is possible as of now.
Fawad's Manager:Â You have not heard of India-Pakistan issue
Reporter:Â That is in Mumbai. There is no problem in Delhi.
Fawad's Manager:Â I do not think it will work out. But I will check.
Reporter:Â We have one function in Gurgaon also.
Fawad's Manager:Â That is Delhi only.
Reporter:Â Yes, it is Delhi only. But Gurgaon is very safe. Delhi is also safe. It will be a private function. There will be no big crowd.
Fawad's Manager:Â I will check once.
Reporter:Â Can you please tell me an estimate?
Fawad's Manager:Â I will tell you the estimate.
Reporter:Â Please tell me how we shall make payment. With all white money, it will be very problematic, assuming if it is Rs 60-70 lakh.
Fawad's Manager:Â It is for one person.
Reporter:Â If it is for one person, so, for aÂ 70-plusÂ group I assume it will be around Rs 70-80 lakh. Giving all in white will be a problem for me.
Fawad's Manager:Â The group will go in CR.
Reporter:Â Whatever it may be. Giving all in white will be a problem.
Fawad's Manager:Â We can decide in a percentage. What should I give you as of now? I will give you the original cost then we do not take anything in writing. You can tell about percentage on phone. You just need to tell percentage. I will calculate the amount.
Reporter:Â I feel if we do not talk these things on the phone it will be better
Fawad's Manager:Â OK, if you say 25 percent, I can take in which ways, advance or anything. I can calculate 25 percent out of total percentage and I know this much you want to go in black and rest in white. Then we can decide.
Further, the manager also urged the reporters to deposit the black money in the actorâs UAE account, to evade taxes.
While the credibility of the operation couldnât be established independently, with the stringently blanket ban on the higher Indian denominations, this isnât an improbable phenomena amongst the elite.