In a second back-to-back development in the Antilia bomb scare probe, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has disclosed on Wednesday that the data on the laptop seized from suspended Mumbai Police API Sachin Vaze was found to have been deleted, and added that Vaze also claimed to have dropped his mobile phone somewhere when he was asked for it. On Monday, the NIA had recovered Sachin Vaze's laptop, some mobile phones, iPad, and documents from Vaze's office at the Mumbai Police's CIU.
The disclosure on deleted data comes right after the NIA revealed that Sachin Vaze, who has been remanded to its custody till March 25, had been concealing his identity outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence on February 25 where a gelatin sticks-laden SUV was found.
A laptop was seized from the cabin of Sachin Waze in a raid day before yesterday but all the data in it was already deleted. He was asked for his cellphone and he had said that he had dropped it somewhere. But the fact is that he had intentionally thrown it away: NIAMarch 17, 2021
The NIA has informed that Sachin Vaze had worn excessive-sized clothes (kurta-pyjamas) to conceal his identity while also trying to hide his body language on February 25.
In the CCTV footage, Sachin Waze could be seen with his head covered with a large handkerchief so that no one could identify him. He was wearing an oversized kurta-pajama, and not PPE coverall, in an attempt to mask his body language & face: National Investigation Agency (NIA)— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2021
On Tuesday evening, NIA had seized a black luxury Mercedez car from which cash amounting of Rs 5 lakhs, some clothes, and a cash counting machine were recovered. Moreover, the NIA revealed that it has recovered the same number plate that was used on the suspicious Scorpio car outside Antilia from the Mercedez which was parked at the Mumbai Police HQ, and even more importantly, stated that Sachin Vaze had used the Mercedes.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mumbai Police API Riyaz Kazi been questioned in the Antilia bomb scare probe by the NIA for the third consecutive day. Kazi had allegedly turned up at Sachin Vaze's housing society with a letter seeking CCTV footage on behalf of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU). As per Kirit Somaiya, he walked away with copious footage and related details.
Sachin Vaze was arrested by NIA on Saturday night under Sections 286, 465, 473, 506(2), 120 B of the IPC, and 4(a)(b)(I)Explosive Substances Act 1908 for his alleged role & involvement in an explosives-laden vehicle being placed near Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai on February 25, the NIA said. The agency had begun an investigation into the case shortly after the owner of the Scorpio, a businessman named Mansukh Hiren was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Kalwa creek, with his wife later completely refuting the Mumbai Police's original theory of suicide, and stated that Sachin Vaze had been in possession of the car since at least November 2020. To be sure, media reports have claimed that the same car had even been present on November 4 when Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami had been arrested from his home, where Vaze had been present. The Maharashtra ATS is also investigating the alleged murder of Mansukh Hiren.
Controversial Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze was suspended by the force following his arrest by the NIA in connection with the case pertaining to the recovery of a gelatin sticks-laden SUV and a threat letter being found abandoned near Reliance Industries Limited Chairman & MD Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai residence Antilia on February 25. Following Mansukh Hiren's death, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis produced call records (CD-R) to support serious allegations he made regarding Vaze's involvement, both inside and outside the state assembly.