Ambani bomb scare: NIA recovers Mercedes with SUV number plate, cash
An explosive-laden SUV was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence on February 25. | PTI Photo

Ambani bomb scare: NIA recovers Mercedes with SUV number plate, cash

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has seized a black Mercedes-Benz car, which it says used to be driven by police officer Sachin Waze, who was recently arrested in the SUV scare case related to industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

The investigating agency which is probing the recovery of an explosive-laden SUV – a Mahindra Scorpio – from outside Ambani’s residence in February, recovered the Mercedes car from a parking lot in South Mumbai.

The car had the fake number plate used for the Scorpio, ₹5 lakh cash and a note counting machine among other things. The agency, however, is yet to find the owner of the car.

“NIA today seized a black Mercedes-Benz car. We have recovered the number plate that was on the Scorpio car, over ₹ 5 lakh in cash, a note-counting machine and some clothes…Sachin Waze used to drive this car… the ownership of the car is under investigation,” NDTV quoted senior NIA officer Anil Shukla as telling reporters.

A remand report submitted by the NIA in court on Sunday to get the custody of Waze for 12 days, also said that the Assistant Police Inspector drove a white vehicle that had escorted the SUV to Ambani’s residence on February 25.

The NIA says CCTV footage shows Waze seen wearing a kurta and covering a face a few hours after the Scorpio was parked outside Ambani’s house on the same day.

An abandoned Scorpio car laden with explosives was found parked outside Ambani’s residence Antilla on February 25. A hand-written note recovered from the vehicle threatened Ambani and his wife Nita that the bomb was just a “trailer” of what would happen next.

While the car was traced to Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based auto parts dealer, who had filed an FIR regarding the missing SUV on February 17, he was found dead near Mumbai on March 5. Mansukh’s wife alleged that Waze, who was investigating the case had used the car for four months before returning it on February 5 and accused him of being behind her husband’s death.

NIA which later took over the case from the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad, arrested Waze last week for his involvement in the incident. Waze has also been suspended by the department.

A senior officer of NIA told Indian Express that Waze had met Mansukh on February 17 near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj train terminus, which is eight days before the SUV was found parked outside Antilla. NIA suspects Mansukh may have handed over the keys of the SUV to Waze during the meeting.

NIA says Waze may have later given back the key to someone who drove the SUV from Vikroli to his housing society in Thane where it was kept for some days before being planted outside Ambani’s house.

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