The National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) on Saturday arrested controversial ‘Encounter specialist’ Sachin Vaze, who is at the centre of the investigation in connection with the mysterious death of Mansukh Hiren and the explosives-laden car found outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani. The Maharashtra Assistant Police Inspector was arrested at 11.50 PM on Saturday, after being grilled by the central agency for 12 hours. Vaze will be presented before the court on Sunday.
Vaze has been arrested under Sections 286 (Negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 465 (Punishment for forgery), 473 (Making or possessing counterfeit seal), 506(2) (criminal intimidation), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code and 4(a)(b)(I)(attempt to cause an explosion) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
NIA arrests Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze in connection with its investigation into the recovery of explosives from a car parked near Mukesh Ambani’s house in Mumbai https://t.co/6AZvHH6rz2— ANI (@ANI) March 13, 2021
A top official was quoted as saying that Vaze is part of the group that planted the explosive-laden Scorpio on Carmichael Road (near Antilia) on February 25. “He has confessed to it”, the official was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
Speaking about the arrest, an NIA spokesperson said that Sachin Vaze has been arrested for his “role and involvement in placing an explosives-laden vehicle near Carmichael Road on February 25”. Now, the Maharashtra top cop will also be investigated for his alleged role in the death of Mansukh Hiren, who was the owner of the Scorpio found near the Ambani residence.
It was earlier reported that the central agency had called Sachin Vaze to its office on Saturday morning to record his statement since he had been heading the probe and was accused of using the explosives-laden SUV before it went missing.
The police had traced an explosive-laden SUV, found near business tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s residence last month, to Mansukh Hiren, an auto part dealer, whose body was later found in a Thane creek this month. After Mansukh Hiren’s death, his wife, Vimla Hiren alleged that the vehicle was lent out to Sachin Vaze for four months till February 5, a few days after which it was reported stolen. She had accused Vaze of killing her husband.
Anticipatory bail plea of Sachin Vaze gets rejected, cop puts out message hinting at his death
Earlier in the day, we had reported that the Vaze’s anticipatory bail plea had been rejected by the Sessions Court in Thane. Soon after, Vaze had put out a WhatsApp status where he had hinted at his death in a cryptic message. In a WhatsApp status, claiming that he has become the target of false allegations, Sachin Vaze said that his ‘time to say goodbye to the world’ is coming closer.
Maharashtra top cop removed from the Mumbai Police Crime Branch
On Wednesday, Sachin Vaze was removed from the Mumbai Police Crime Branch after his name surfaced in connection with the matter. The case had gotten murkier and murkier after it was reported that Vaze was in touch with Mansukh Hiren, the owner of the car, since June 2020. Hiren was subsequently found dead in the Kalwa creek, which only served to deepen the mystery surrounding the attack against Mukesh Ambani.
The Maharashtra ATS have already interrogated and recorded his statement in the matter.
‘Encounter cop’ Sachin Vaze has a problematic past, to say the least. He was accused in the custodial death case of one Khwaja Younis. Under suspicion, he was suspended from the police force. After his suspension, he had joined the Shiv Sena and had been only recently reinstated by the Uddhav Thackeray led government.