Chennai : A CBI court in Chennai on Monday granted the investigating agency three days custody of Alex C Joseph, a high-profile luxury car smuggler, who has illegally imported sedans and sold to VVIP clients. Joseph, against whom an Interpol lookout notice was pending, was arrested in Delhi last week and brought to Chennai.

Joseph had shot into fame last year when a day after the DMK pulled out of the UPA Government the CBI had embarked on a misadventure by conducting raids at the house of DMK treasurer M K Stalin searching for a Hummer imported by his son Udayanidhi Stalin. The CBI had then seized over 30 imported cars from VIPs including BCCI chief Srinivasan. These cars were allegedly sold by Joseph.

On Monday, Joseph was produced before the Special Court for CBI cases in Chennai, which allowed the CBI to interrogate him in custody for three days. The accused must be produced before the court on February 6.

The CBI had among other things charged the accused of colluding with officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to import cars through illegal means thereby causing a loss of around Rs 48 crore to the Union Government through suppression of import duty. The agency had sought his custody for 10 days but the judge, S Vanangamudi, said the it was enough to interrogate him for three days.

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