The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recovered 16 more luxury vehicles imported by a Hyderabad-based businessman in alleged violation of customs laws which have been sold to various influential persons even as the SUV registered in the name of DMK leader M K Stalin’s son remained untraceable.

The search by the CBI team at the residence of Stalin to look for a Hummer, just couple of days after DMK withdrew support from ruling UPA, had sparked a political storm with the agency launching an internal inquiry to see if there were any procedural lapses in the searches.

Claiming it to be a major car import scam, the CBI sources said they had recovered 17 vehicles yesterday through searches at 18 places which included a visit to Stalin’s home in Chennai “to locate” the SUV Hummer which was allegedly imported in 2007.

They said today 16 more vehicles were recovered but the CBI has seized documents from the accused DRI officer Muruganandan which indicate that more cars were imported by businessman Alex C Joseph in alleged violation of the laws.

The CBI sources said the agency might soon arrest the mastermind of the scam Joseph who is claimed to be on the run.

The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram had expressed their displeasure over the action while leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister “cannot interfere” in the functioning of CBI and have a “search stopped”.

(This article was published on March 22, 2013)
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