What can be termed as a new twist in the Antilia bomb scare case, the National Investigating Agency (NIA), on Wednesday, confirmed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze's presence outside Mukesh Ambani's residence on the day the explosives-laden SUV was found. According to the CCTV footage, a man covering his head with a large handkerchief was spotted outside Antilia. And, NIA has said it was indeed Vaze, who was trying to hide his identity by wearing baggy clothes and a head-scarf.
The NIA further added that Vaze was wearing an oversized kurta-pajama and not a PPE coverall, to hide his body language and face.
"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 and face," NIA officials were quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"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," the NIA officials added.
Meanwhile, the NIA has seized a Mercedes car that was used by arrested police officer Sachin Vaze and recovered Rs 5 lakh from the vehicle after searching his office from where "incriminating" documents were recovered, an official told PTI.
Vaze is at the focus of a probe by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into a case related to the recovery of an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in south Mumbai on February 25.
His plea contending that the manner of his arrest by the agency was illegal was also rejected by a court in Mumbai on Tuesday. Vaze, arrested for his alleged role in the case on March 13, was attached to the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Mumbai police's crime branch till recently.
Vaze, 49, credited with eliminating 63 alleged criminals in 'encounters', is also facing heat in the murder case of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the Scorpio. Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane district on March 5. Vaze, a 1990-batch officer, was earlier suspended in 2004 over his role in the custodial death of a 2002 Ghatkopar blast suspect Khwaja Yunus.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)