A day after the Maharashtra government suspended Sachin Waze, the “encounter specialist” police officer allegedly linked to the seizure of an explosives-laden SUV found near Mukesh Ambani’s residence, another mysterious angle to the episode has come to light. Media reports said he allegedly seized his own housing society’s digital video recorder (DVR) while he was probing the case.
Reports also said Waze had visited a shop that makes number plates and took away all digital evidence containing details of visitors and the register of orders.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested the Assistant Police Inspector on Saturday (March 13). The officer is in NIA custody till March 25.
The March 15 suspension was the second such action that the police officer faced after March 2004 in the custodial death of a blast accused, Khwaja Yunus.
The NIA is investigating if the CCTV footage from the DVR had been tweaked. It is also looking into whether the police officer brought the SUV to his own residential compound. The agency is also questioning the CIU Assistant Police Inspector Riyaz Kazi in the matter.
The NIA suspects that Waze could have tampered with CCTV footage to remove evidence against him after his ties to Mansukh Hiran — the businessman who had reported his SUV was missing – were exposed.
The Scorpio SUV with gelatin sticks (explosives) was found abandoned at Mumbai’s Carmichael Road near Mukesh Ambani’s residence on February 25. It also carried a threat letter to Ambani’s family. The SUV was traced to Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based auto parts trader, who had reported it missing on February 17. Hiran’s body was found at Thane creek.
Hiran’s wife has alleged that Waze had borrowed the same vehicle for four months till he returned it on February 5. She also accused the officer of having a role in her husband’s death. Hiran’s death and the theft of his car are being probed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, while the NIA is investigating threat to Ambani.