Two days after an SUV laden with explosive material was discovered outside Antilla, the residence of Mukesh Ambani and his family in Mumbai, more details have emerged in the case. The initial investigation into the case has revealed that the terrorists had meticulously planned the entire sequence of events before they parked the bomb-laden car outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
According to a report from India Today, the Mumbai Police’s initial assessment of the incident suggests that the terrorists had used two vehicles to plant a bomb outside Antilla in Mumbai.
The two cars – an Innova (white colour) and a Scorpio (green colour) were used by the terrorists. Both cars drove up to Mukesh Ambai’s residence Antilia from Thane or a neighbouring area.
The Mumbai Police had recovered 20 gelatin sticks from a Scorpio car parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s home on Thursday. Gelatin sticks are used to make explosives. At the spot, the police had also found several number plates from inside the vehicle, some of them matched the number plates of vehicles used by the Ambani family’s security team.
Also, the police had recovered a letter addressed to Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani from the bomb-laden car. The letter written by the terrorists said that the gelatin sticks and the SUV outside Antilia were just a “trailer”.
CCTV footage shows two cars from surrounding area used
The CCTV footage of the surrounding area enabled Mumbai Police to identify the vehicles used in the incident. In the CCTV footage, the two cars were seen driving towards Antilia separately but from the same direction. The two vehicles met up at a spot in Mumbai and then drove to Antilia together. The CCTV at the Mulund toll post captured the green Scorpio heading towards Mumbai around 1.20 am. The white Innova was also seen crossing the Mulund toll post and travelling towards Mumbai.
The police have found out that Scorpio was seen waiting at Priyadarshini Junction in Kurla, where Innova joined it at 1.40 am. Later, they proceeded towards Byculla. The vehicles turned right at Khada Parsi junction, drove towards Carmichael road and reached the spot outside Mukesh Ambani’s home at 2.18 am.
As they reached Antilla, the person inside the Scorpio parked the car outside Mukesh Ambani’s house and escaped in the second car Innova. The Innova then drove in the direction of Thane using the Eastern Express Highway. The car crossed the Mulund toll post at 3.05 am. However, the CCTV failed to capture the vehicle’s movement due to the low light in Thane.
Letter said the SUV and gelatin sticks were just a ‘trailer’
According to Mumbai Police, the security staff of the Antilla informed them about the suspicious Scorpio on Thursday noon. A police team, along with the bomb disposal squad and the canine squad, soon reached the spot to look into the matter. The police cordoned off the area and removed the car from the spot. By then, the Mumbai Police had recovered 20 unassembled gelatin sticks, some number plates and a threatening letter from the car.
The letter accessed by India Today TV is printed, and the language used is a combination of English and Hindi, with several spelling mistakes. The police hints that such errors were intentional to escape detection.
In the letter addressed to Nita Ambani and Mukesh Ambani, the terrorists said that the abandoned Scorpio and 20 unassembled gelatin sticks are just a “trailer”. The terrorists also warned that the next time the gelatin sticks will be assembled and claimed that the plans to attack the Ambani family are ready.
Here is the unedited version of the letter recovered by cops from inside the Scorpio, accompanied by an English translation:
“Nita Bhabi aur Mkesh bhyya aur femi; Ek jalak he ye; Agli bar ye saaman pora konekt hoke aayega.
Orijinl gadi me ayega. Tum pora femili ko udane ke liye intajam ho gaya hai. Sambal jana. Gud nit”
(Sister-in-law Nita and brother Mukesh and family; This was trailer; Next time, the (explosive) material will be assembled. It will come in the original vehicle. We have made preparations to kill your entire family in the blast. Beware. Goodnight).”
Terrorists used number plates of the security team of Mukesh Ambani for bomb threat
The Mumbai Police also said the terrorists had used the number plates that matched the number plates of security vehicles used in Nita Ambani’s fleet. The police said that the terrorists had made elaborate plans and carried out a thorough recce of the area before making these number plates.
The Scorpio recovered from outside Antilia was stolen from the city. The vehicle’s registered owner said he was not using the car for over a year, and he wanted to sell it.
“I was travelling towards Opera House from Thane but found the steering wheel of the Scorpio difficult to use, which is when I parked it on the Mulund Airoli link road,” claimed the owner. The car owner said that his car was missing when he went back to the spot the next day.
He then lodged a complaint of car theft at the Vikhroli police station. The local police tried to trace the vehicle but could not find it.
The terrorists had tried to rig the Scorpio’s chassis number and most likely did some repairs. However, the police managed to retrieve the chassis number, giving them the vehicle’s registered owner’s contact details on Thursday night.
The Mumbai Police said that the 20 gelatin sticks found in the Scorpio are commercial grade and not military-grade explosives. The commercial-grade gelatin sticks are generally used in construction work and at quarries. However, if the 20 gelatin sticks were connected to a detonator and a timer, it could have been used to make an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) that could cause heavy damage.
Such bombs can blow up an SUV, like the Scorpio in this case. He said the explosives could also kill occupants of the SUV. “Gelatin sticks weighing around 2.5 kg can cause heavy damage to an area of 3000 cubic feet, i.e. around 200 square feet,” he explained.
Mumbai Police begins investigation into the bomb threat issued to Mukesh Ambani, all resources employed
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police has formed over 10 teams to investigate this high-profile case. The officials involved in the probe said the accused in this case appear to be “very sharp-minded”. They said the accused printed the threatening letter in gibberish language and spelling mistakes on purpose to mislead investigators.
The threatening letter was printed to avoid detection since a written document is easy to trace back to the owner with help from a handwriting expert.
The Mumbai Police has deployed all its specialised investigating branches to solve this case. More than 15 persons have been questioned, and hundreds of CCTV cameras are being scanned. The Thane Police have also been asked to trace the movement of the two vehicles used in the act.
The Mumbai Police has also sought the mobile dump data of the location and has activated its human intelligence network to trace people involved in car thefts. The car garages and number plate makers have also been questioned to trace the accused.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) have employed their resources to help crack the case and probe a possible terror angle. Reportedly, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also spoken to Mumbai Police in connection with the case.