The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday charged suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his role in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case.
The development comes a day after Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Jaijeet Singh claimed Vaze was the “chief conspirator” in the murder of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran, whose explosives-laden 4X4 was found outside the industrialist’s house in South Mumbai.
Vaze allegedly met Hiran on February 17, the very day Hiran’s Scorpio was stolen, shows a CCTV footage which has now emerged. A week later, on February 25, the same 4X4 was found parked outside Ambani’s multi-storeyed house on Carmichael Road with gelatin sticks and a letter of threat for the Ambani family.
The CCTV grab, which shows Vaze meeting Hiran in Mumbai’s Fort area, is being looked into by the Maharashtra ATS and the NIA.
Hiran, who knew Vaze beforehand, was found dead in a Thane creek on March 5, a week after the 4X4 was spotted outside Ambani’s house. Hiran’s wife has accused Vaze of killing her husband.
Earlier, Vaze had borrowed the same 4X4 for about four months from Hiran, and returned it on February 5.
The February 17 meeting between Vaze and Hiran happened inside a black Mercedes-Benz, near the General Post Office in Fort area. The meeting lasted around 10 minutes, according to the ATS.
On February 17 itself, Hiran lodged a complaint with the Vikhroli police station about his stolen 4X4. After the Ambani case became public, Vaze himself recorded Hiran’s statement, since he was the chief of Crime Intelligence Unit. However, Vaze’s report did not mention the February 17 meeting he had with Hiran.