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Mar 22, 2013 at 05:13pm IST

Chennai car imports scam perhaps the biggest: CBI sources

Chennai: The CBI has said that the imported cars scam unearthed in Chennai may perhaps be the biggest of its kind in India. The scam, in which, the CBI says that officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) are also involved, reportedly caused a loss of Rs 50 crore to the government exchequer.

The CBI seized 33 cars on Friday in raids across the city and the state. The CBI raided the residences of several DRI officials and car importer Alex Joseph, who has evaded arrest.

The raids come a day after the residence of DMK's political heir MK Stalin was searched allegedly for an imported Hummer. The operations, however, were called off soon after the opposition targeted the government, calling the raids "political vendetta", as they came just days after the DMK withdrew support from the coalition government.

The PM issued a statement calling the timing of the raids unfortunate. Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, was the first to disapprove of the raids. He added that the raids were bound to be misunderstood. Following a meeting between Sonia Gandhi and minister in-charge of the CBI, V Narayanasamy, the raids were called off.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, however, questioned this move too. He asked, if the CBI was merely doing its job, and there was no government intervention as admitted by the PM, why were the raids stopped?

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