Mumbai: An alert was sounded across the city after an abandoned vehicle containing at least 20 gelatin sticks was seized barely 600 metres away from Antilia, the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The explosive-laden SUV displayed a registration number identical to that of a vehicle used by the Ambanis' security detail, police said. A threat letter too was recovered from the car but the police refused to share further details. Apart from this, multiple number plates with a couple of them identical to those of vehicles in the Ambani convoy were also found in the car.
"A Scorpio car carrying 20 gelatin sticks has been seized near the Ambani residence. The investigation has been handed over to Mumbai crime branch and the truth will soon be out," said Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) of the crime branch will conduct an investigation, said police.
According to police, around 2.30pm on Thursday, the presence of a suspicious SUV was detected at Carmichael Road, 600 metres from Antilia. Shortly after, senior police officers, along with the bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) and a Quick Response Team (QRT) rushed to the spot. The entire area was cordoned off and all the roads leading to the spot were blocked.
The BDDS team, clad in protective bomb disposal gear, checked the entire car and recovered 20 gelatin sticks along with a sack, which was seized by the police. The vehicle was later taken to an undisclosed location for further investigation. According to police, the engine and chassis numbers of the vehicle were reportedly erased.
According to police, a CCTV camera from a nearby shop has recorded an unknown man parking the SUV around 1am on Thursday. The man then left in another white Innova, which had been following him.
The BDDS squad also carried out a check in the vicinity of Antilia and the Ambanis' security cover was beefed up.
"A suspicious vehicle was found on Carmichael Road today (Thursday) evening under the limits of Gamdevi Police Station. Police were alerted. The bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) and other police teams reached the spot immediately, examined the vehicle and found some explosive material, gelatin sticks, inside. It is not an assembled explosive device and further investigation is underway, " said Mumbai police spokesperson DCP S Chaitanya.