By Tarun Nangia – NEW DELHI
18th May 2013 09:52 AM
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi has surrendered his illegally imported Hummer Sports Utility Vehicle at the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The investigating agency wanted to seize the car that was allegedly ‘illegally’ imported.
On Friday, Udhayanidhi came to the CBI office in Chennai and surrendered the possession of the car. It was imported in 2007 by Alex Joseph, a car importer based out of Hyderabad, who later sold it to Udhayanidhi. From 2007 to 2011, Joseph is alleged to have imported highly priced cars from abroad to India evading Custom Duties and he counted the rich and powerful among his customers.
The CBI carried out searches in March and seized a total of 33 cars from businessmen, companies and educationists in Tamil Nadu. CBI teams also searched the houses of DMK leaders Stalin and MK Alagiri then, but no car was seized from their premises. CBI had also searched the residence of Muruganandan, a senior official of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, who did not take action against Joseph and was part of a criminal conspiracy to allow the latter to import cars illegally.
Currently, CBI is on the trail of Joseph who is absconding.
Out of the 33 cars seized in March, 11 were seized from BCCI president N Srinivasan’s company, India Cements, seven from V R Venkatchalam, Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra University, five from businessman GK Shetty Ramana and two cars each from MGM Group of Companies and businessman Raja Shankar.
After seizing the cars, the CBI had handed them back to the owners upon submission of an undertaking that the vehicles would be produced before the court whenever required.
As part of investigations to probe the illegal import of cars in Tamil Nadu, the CBI searched the house of Ramanathan and recovered a fibre device used for manipulating the chassis number of cars from his residence.