PTI- Representative, Republicworld.com
After the special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court on Saturday extended Sachin Vaze's custody till April 7, the investigating agency is now focusing on the ex-Mumbai API's bank accounts. Sources have informed Republic Media Network that in a massive breakthrough, NIA has learned that Vaze's joint bank account in Versova with 'mystery woman' Meena George had over Rs 26 lakh in it till March 8.
Sources have further revealed that post-Sachin Vaze's arrest by NIA, the cash in the joint account was withdrawn. As of now, the NIA is investigating whether Meena George, who was allegedly managing funds for Sachin Vaze helped him divert the purported 'extortion money' or not and where did all the money go. It is important to note here that the 'mystery woman', who allegedly kept track of Sachin Vaze's accounts and was seemingly spotted at luxury hotel Trident where Vaze was staying before the Antilia bomb scare plot, is currently being interrogated by the NIA.
Earlier, NIA had recovered a diary from arrested cop and accused Vinayak Shinde's residence revealing Shinde was allegedly collecting 'protection money' from over 30 bars and clubs in Mumbai on behalf of Sachin Vaze. NIA has taken Meena George - the woman who kept track of Sachin Vaze's accounts and was spotted at luxury hotel Trident with Sachin Vaze - into custody. Meanwhile, convicted cop Vinayak Shinde and bookie Naresh Gaur are currently in NIA custody till April 7 in connection with the Mansukh Hiren death case. Recently, NIA recovered 2 CCTV DVRs, 2 CPUs, 2 hard disk, 1 laptop, 1 printer, and 2 number plates from the Mithi riverbed.
On February 25, at around 3 PM, a car (green Scorpio) laden with explosive gelatin sticks along with a threatening letter was found by Mumbai Police, outside the Ambani residence - Antilia. A primary investigation from the CCTV revealed that the car had been parked near the residence since 1 AM, intervening night on between Wednesday-Thursday. Later on March 5, Mansukh Hiren, the owner of the car in question, was found dead at the Kalwa creek - with police claiming that he committed suicide by jumping into the stream. With the deceased wife alleging murder, Maharashtra ATS probed and arrested a bookie and convicted cop Vinayak Shinde in connection with Hiren's murder.
Meanwhile, then-Mumbai API Sachin Vaze was arrested by NIA on March 13 for his alleged involvement in placing explosives in the aforementioned car and has been sent to custody till April 3, invoking UAPA against Vaze. While Vaze has been suspended again from police service, his superior - Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh has been transferred to Home Guards due to 'lapses' in the probe. He has sent an 8-page letter to CM Thackeray, HM Anil Deshmukh and Gov Koshyari alleging that Deshmukh had demanded Vaze to collect Rs 100 crores from 1750 pubs in Mumbai per month - a judicial probe has been ordered while the case has also been heard by the Bombay HC which will pronounce its order on Monday.
Moreover, while handing over the Hiren murder case to NIA, Maharashtra ATS has stated to a Thane court Vaze's raid at a bar on the intervening night of Feb 4 & 5 had been no more than a ruse. NIA has seized Sachin Vaze's laptop, some mobile phones, iPad, and documents from his office has also seized several luxury cars from Vaze's office and home - including a black Mercedes and White Landcruiser Prado - in which Hiren was seen travelling with Vaze. NIA has claimed that Sachin Vaze had worn excessive-sized clothes (kurta-pyjamas) to conceal his identity on February 25 when the explosives-laden car was seen near Antilla, citing CCTV footage from the site. Numerous other evidences have been recovered, including CCTV visuals of Mansukh Hiren boarding Vaze's car and a phone recording transcript of Hiren and his brother wherein the former says that he didn't mention that Vaze was in possession of the green Scorpio to the police when he was questioned because Vaze told him so.
(Image: PTI- Representative, Republicworld.com)