In a bid to gather evidence in the case in which assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials in connection on charges of being part of the conspiracy for placing gelatin sticks-laden SUV near the Carmichael Road residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the agency sleuths on Monday night conducted searches and seizure operation inside the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) office, where Vaze was posted before his transfer. The agency sources also claimed that the team had taken Vaze's phone, iPad, DVR machine, and some documents for investigation purposes. The NIA has also seized a Mercedes car which was reportedly being used by Vaze. The Mercedes was seized on Tuesday from a parking lot near CSMT, sources said.
The NIA officials have seized some cash, clothes, fake vehicle registration number plates and few bottles containing some inflammable substance from the Mercedes seized during the probe.
According to the sources privy to the investigations, an NIA team had visited the CIU office, which is situated within the premises of Mumbai Police Commissioner opposite Crawford Market, around 8 pm on Monday. The team met some senior officers of the Mumbai Police and briefed them about their purpose of visit. The NIA team then conducted searches inside the CIU office, in presence of a few Mumbai police officers and seized Vaze's iPad and a mobile phone. The team also reportedly seized some documents having relevance to their on-going investigation, sources said.
The NIA team has so far made enquiries with at least seven Mumbai police officials, of which five were working with Vaze in CIU, sources said. The agency sleuths continued enquiries with assistant police inspector Riyazuddin Kazi, who had taken custody of DVR machines from Vaze's housing society last month.
A Mahindra Scorpio carrying gelatin sticks was found at Carmichael Road, near Antilia building, on February 25 and a threat letter was also found from the said SUV. Vaze, who was posted then with the CIU was the first investigating officer in the case. An initial probe led the investigators to reveal that the vehicle was in possession of Thane-based auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran. Hiran had reported it stolen a few days before it was found near Ambani's residence and had also lodged a police complaint in this regard. Later Hiran's body was found in a creek at Mumbra. Hiran's wife had later alleged that Vaze had borrowed the same vehicle for four months till he returned it on February 5 and also accused Vaze of having a role in her husband's death. The NIA later took over the investigation of the case and arrested Vaze in the late hours of Saturday.
Sources probing the case said that the NIA is probing if the SUV was instead taken by Vaze and was parked inside his housing society's compound and if the said DVRs were seized with the intention of tampering.
A team of doctors was called to the NIA office on Tuesday to check on Vaze’s health. A day earlier, he was rushed to JJ Hospital and sent back after a clinical check-up.