The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Mumbai Police officer Riyazuddin Kazi in connection with the 'Antilia' bomb scare case on Sunday.
Kazi is the second police officer to be arrested in the case after API Sachin Vaze who was arrested on March 13 for allegedly parking explosive laden SUV near 'Antilia', residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.
According to the NIA officials, Kazi was arrested for allegedly assisting Vaze. They also suspected Kazi played a role in destroying evidences.
When Kazi was produced before the court on Sunday, the NIA officials said that he was well aware of the conspiracy and had accompanied Vaze many times. He was also present when the evidences were destroyed when the case was taken over by NIA.
Refuting all the allegations, Kazi's lawyer pleaded that his client has been made an scapegoat in the case. Refusing to buy the NIA's theory his lawyer argued that Kazi was not aware of anything related to the conspiracy and was merely doing his duty. Kazi has made diary entry of all the evidences seized by him, said his lawyer before the court while demanding minimum custody for him.
On Saturday, Kazi was called for questioning and was placed under arrest around 12.30 am on Sunday, later in the day he was produced before the court which remanded him NIA custody till April 16.
On February 25 an explosive laden SUV was recovered barely 600 meter from ' Antilia'. The case was initially investigated by the CIU.
During their investigation Kazi as an officer from CIU seized digital video recorder (DVR) of Vaze's housing society, it was suspected that the Scorpio car was parked there before February 25. In a CCTV footage Kazi was seen recovering a DVR from a number plate shop in Vikhroli, some of these evidences were later found tampered/destroyed.
The agency also suspected Kazi assisted Vaze in obtaining fake number plates used for the SUV.
Days after the Antilia episode, the 'owner' of the SUV Mansukh Hiran a Thane based businessman was killed, his body was recovered from Retibunder creek in Thane on March 5.
After the uproar by the opposition party both the cases were transferred to NIA which has invoked sections of stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) an anti-terror law in to the case.
Along Vaze they had arrested a suspended police constable Vinayak Shinde and one Naresh Gor. All three are currently under judicial custody.