Mumbai: The NIA conducted search operations on Sunday, at several locations across Andheri, Wadala, Chakala and Marol, where suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was suspected to have held meetings with other police officials.
(In this context, wire agency PTI adds that the NIA has access to documents that show some payments, suspected to be bribe money, which were made to officials in the Mumbai Police and the administration. The documents, which were unearthed during a raid on Thursday on a club at Girgaum in South Mumbai, still have to be authenticated.)
As per sources, in its probe in the Antilia bomb scare case, the NIA has also learnt that the tainted Mumbai Police cop had a joint bank account in Versova along with a mystery woman. The account had over Rs 26 lakh in it till March 8 - just days after Hiran’s death, sources said. Sources have further revealed that after Vaze’s arrest by the NIA, the cash in the joint account was withdrawn.
The agency sources also claimed that that the location of the last call made to Mansukh Hiran on March 4 was in Andheri. The initial probe by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad into Hiran’s murder case had revealed that the officer ‘Tawde’ whom Hiran had set off to meet, as he told his family on March 4 while leaving home, was none other than suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze. The investigators also claimed that during the call, which lasted for nearly 11 minutes, Vaze had instructed Hiran what he need to tell his family before leaving for Majiwada Junction.
Hiran then met Vaze and was asked to sit in a vehicle, from which Vaze got off midway and the vehicle proceeded towards the Bhayandar Chowpatty area, where Hiran is suspected to have been smothered to death by his assailants, sources claimed.
The NIA, which is probing the recovery of an explosives-laden Scorpio near Antilia, the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25 and the murder of Hiran, who had claimed that the vehicle had been stolen from his possession, had arrested Vaze in the bomb scare case on March 13. The agency later took into custody Naresh Gor and convicted police constable Vinayak Shinde, who were accused of being involved in the Hiran murder case.