NIA sources on Monday told Republic TV that the conspiracy of the Antilia bomb scare was hatched in February when Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was staying in a 5-star hotel in Mumbai. They added that Vaze stayed in the hotel using a fake ID card in the name of "Sadashiv". Moreover, Vaze purportedly went to this hotel in an Innova on February 16 and left on February 20 in a Land Cruiser. As per sources, these vehicles used by Vaze are among those seized by the NIA and are visible in the CCTV recording.
It is also suspected that he carried two bags with him- one in which there was a jelly-like substance suspected to be gelatin sticks and the other containing cash. Sources further revealed that multiple meetings were held in this period to give shape to the conspiracy. More people are believed to be involved in this conspiracy according to sources in the Maharashtra ATS and the NIA. At present, NIA officials are conducting an inquiry at the aforesaid hotel.
At around 3 pm on February 25, the security officer of Antilia- Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai informed the Gamdevi Police Station of a suspicious 4-wheeler being parked on Carmichael Road. 20 sticks of gelatin and a threatening note typewritten in English were recovered from the Mahindra Scorpio. The case took a new dimension after the vehicle's owner Mansukh Hiren was found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5. While Hiren's wife accused Vaze of being responsible for her husband's death, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis produced Call Detail Record claiming that the Assistant Police Inspector was in constant touch with the deceased.
In her complaint, Hiren's wife also alleged that the aforesaid car was in Vaze's possession since November 2020. On March 8, the NIA took over the Antilia bomb scare case and registered an FIR under Sections 120 B, 286, 465, 473 and 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4(a)(b)(i) of The Explosive Substances Act. After being grilled for nearly 12 hours on March 13, Vaze was arrested by the NIA and remanded to its custody till March 25 subsequently. The NIA examined 5 luxury cars used by Vaze and recreated the crime scene. While the Central agency also took over the probe into Mansukh Hiren's case on March 20, the Maharashtra ATS claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough with the arrest of convicted cop Vinayak Shinde and bookie Naresh Gaur.