New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Tuesday seized a Mercedes car, which it claims belongs to suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze. Sources in the NIA claimed the car contained the original number plate of the explosives-laden Scorpio found abandoned outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
They further claimed that the agency recovered Rs 5,75,000 in cash, a note counting machine, a set of clothes and kerosene concealed in its boot.
According to the sources, Waze had allegedly parked the Mercedes in a private parking lot, close to his Mumbai office, from where it was seized and the “incriminating evidence recovered”.
This seizure, sources claimed, points to Waze having planted the Scorpio, which belonged to businessman Mansukh Hiren, outside Antilia, Ambani’s South Mumbai residence.
“The number plate of the Scorpio that was parked outside Ambani’s residence was found to be fake,” a NIA source alleged. “During investigation, we traced the original number of the Scorpio under which it was registered and found that number plate in Waze’s Mercedes parked near his office.
“Along with the Scorpio’s original number plate, 5-6 other number plates too were recovered,” the source claimed. “Moreover, there was Rs 5,75,000 in cash, a note counting machine and a set of clothes.”
The source claimed that it was this set of clothes that Waze wore after he allegedly abandoned the Scorpio outside Ambani’s home.
The diesel and kerosene, sources said, was used to “burn and destroy” the evidence like the clothes Waze wore while planting the car, the source said.
The owner of the Scorpio, Hiren, was found dead inside Mumbra creek on 5 March. Hiren’s wife has accused Waze of killing him; the murder case being investigated by the Mumbai ATS.
Waze is being probed by the NIA in connection with the explosives-laden car found outside Ambani’s home.
He was arrested late Saturday after 11 hours of questioning, in which the NIA confronted him with “technical evidence” it had gathered, sources said.
On Sunday, Waze was remanded to NIA custody until 25 March for further questioning.
Waze has been booked under sections 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy; 286 for negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance; 465 for forgery; 473 for making or possessing counterfeit seal, 506(2) for criminal intimidation and Section 4(a)(b)(I) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
According to the same source, the kerosene and diesel seized from the Mercedes were allegedly used by Waze to “burn and destroy” a long kurta and a hoodie that he was allegedly wearing while planting the car outside Ambani’s home.
“He was wearing a long kurta that looked like a cape, a cap, a shield, which he burnt by putting that diesel and kerosene recovered from his car,” the source claimed.
“After he got rid of the clothes and some other things, he concealed the cash and the number plates in his Mercedes car and parked it in a private parking lot,” the source said.
According to the source, after getting rid of those clothes, Waze allegedly wore a fresh pair, which has now been recovered from his Mercedes.
When asked if the NIA has recovered the burnt pieces of the evidence, the source said that the “process is on”.
“Now, we have solid evidence to corroborate that it was Waze who planted the vehicle,” the source claimed. “We are questioning more of his teammates who were involved in the planning along with him. The investigation is on.”
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)