Trouble mounts for Sachin Vaze as the National Investigation Agency on Tuesday seized a black Mercedes car used by the tainted Mumbai cop from the Crawford market area. The NIA officials have recovered the fake number plate that was used on the suspicious Scorpio car that used to plant bombs outside Antilia from the Mercedes car.
According to the reports, the NIA officials on Tuesday traced a suspicious Mercedes 4matic car linked to Sachin Vaze to the Crawford market area. The officials also recovered unaccounted cash of Rs 5 lakh, a few clothes and a cash counting machine from the car, in addition to the fake number plate that was attached to the Scorpio.
NIA has seized a black colour Mercedes Benz. The number plate of the Scorpio car, more than Rs 5 lakhs in cash, a note counting machine and some clothes recovered from it. Sachin Vaze used to drive this car but who it belongs to is being investigated: NIA IG Anil Shukla, Mumbai pic.twitter.com/wlYkxD0fei— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2021
In a statement, NIA IG Anil Shukla said, “Today NIA seized a black Mercedez Benz. In the seizure, the same number plate in the Scorpio car was recovered from the Mercedez. More than Rs 5 lakh cash, clothes, and a cash counting machine have also been recovered. Sachin Vaze was driving the car. The owner of the car is yet to be identified.”
The Mercedes was recovered from a car-parking near the Mumbai Crime Branch office close to the Crawford market, said NIA officer.
Sachin Vaze drove the Mercedes car with a fake number plate
Reportedly, Sachin Vaze had used the Mercedes car for his personal use with a fake number plate. In a shocking revelation, Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Sunil Toke had made a shocking claim about a Mercedes car. As per Toke, Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze had in December 2020 barreled down to the Commissionerate of Police office in a Mercedes car without stopping at the entrance gate to register details.
Toke said the Vaze had barged his car inside the headquarters and had narrowly escaped an accident. Shockingly, the car carried a fake number plate, and there was no record of any four-wheeler with the number of the vehicle that Vaze had come in. The Pune Regional Transport Department later informed that the Mercedes car’s number actually belonged to a Pulsar motorcycle.
The incident occurred on 23 December 2020 when Sunil Toke was parking his car at the gate of the Commissionerate of Police. Toke recalls that Vaze had evaded the car registration process at the entrance and drove the car right past the gate. As Toke approached the gate to seek details about the car, he was told that no record of the car was supposed to be kept. Toke said when he went inside to see who brought the car, he saw API Sachin Vaze getting out of it.
A report by India Today also states that inside the Mercedes, NIA has also found a CCTV footage taht shows Vaze near the black car wearing a loose-fit garmet resembling a PPE-kit. It is significan because earlier CCTV footage had shown a man wearing a similar PPE kit leaving the explosive laden car outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
NIA searches Vaze’s office at Mumbai Crime Branch
Earlier, the NIA had carried out searches at the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) situated in Mumbai Police headquarters, where Vaze was serving unit till last week.
In the search operation that went on till Tuesday. the NIA seized a laptop, an iPad, a phone, a DVR and CCTV footage of the Vaze’s residence in the Saket building in Thane. The DVR seizure is crucial as Vaze reportedly kept the Scorpio in his society for some time.
The NIA officials have also recorded statements of seven policemen of Mumbai Police, including five members of CIU, who worked alongside Vaze.
Meanwhile, the controversial “Encounter specialist” Sachin Vaze has been suspended by the Maharashtra government for his alleged role in the ongoing Antilia bomb scare case. Vaze was reinstated last year by the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, citing a lack of adequate police personnel during the Covid pandemic, 16 years after he was suspended over a case of custodial death.