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Killers were paid Rs 45 lakhs to murder businessman Mansukh Hiren, ex-cops Sachin Vaze, Pradeep Sharma involved: NIA

The NIA also stated that they reckon Rs 45 lakh only to be the tip of the iceberg and that there might be crores of rupees involved in both the cases, the Antilia explosives case and the Hiren's murder case.

The National Investigation Agency made startling revelations in the murder case of businessman Mansukh Hiren. During the court proceedings of a special NIA court on Thursday, the premier probe agency said they suspect hitmen were paid Rs 45 lakh to bump off Mansukh Hiren.

The agency made this claim based on money trail that linked the assassins to Hiren’s murder. After killing Hiren, they had fled to Nepal. The agency is digging into the details of their travel to Nepal after the murder. It suspects that the four killers were instructed by arrested cops Sachin Waze and Pradeep Sharma to stay underground till the investigation is completed. 

According to sources quoted by media outlets, NIA has chanced upon CCTV footage where killers were seen with the slain businessman at Ghodbunder Road on March 4. In the video, Sharma’s close aid, Shelar, was seen standing near the red Tavera car, Mansukh being brought to the spot in another car and being handed over to Shelar, who taps on Hiren’s back and gets him to enter the Tavera. The NIA suspects the three other accused were present inside the car.

The NIA on Thursday produced accused Satish Tirupati Mutkori and Manish Basant Soni before the special NIA court and sought further five days custody for both. The NIA cited the discovery of the financial transactions worth Rs 45 lakh, suspected to have been used for or paid for Hiren’s murder to demand the further custody of the accused.

However. The agency did not say who funded the assassination. It also submitted that there might be a few more people involved in both cases. The four accused who allegedly murdered Hiran are, Santosh Shelar, Anand Jadhav, Manish Basant Soni and Satish Tirupati Mutkor. 

It is worth noting that it was Mansukh Hiren’s car that was found laden with explosives outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence, Antilia. Hiren had allegedly refused to follow Waze’s instructions after the car was discovered.

The NIA also stated that they reckon Rs 45 lakh only to be the tip of the iceberg and that there might be crores of rupees involved in both the cases, the Antilia explosives case and the Hiren’s murder case.

Reportedly, the public prosecutor also said before the court that they have recovered Rs 35,000 in cash from one of the accused who allegedly assassinated Hiren on the directives of dismissed API Sachin Waze and former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma.

Besides, the NIA said Sharma, who is currently lodged at Taloja Jail, facilitated Hiren’s murder by providing his murderers with SIM cards that were allegedly used for coordinating during the conspiracy.

The NIA also said that Sharma, who is now in judicial custody and is lodged at Taloja jail, provided bogus SIM cards to Hiran’s killers. The SIM cards were allegedly used for coordination during the conspiracy.

Sachin Waze brains behind the cases, was present when Mansukh Hiren was killed: Reports

As per the submissions made by the NIA, Sharma and Waze were the brains behind the cases, with the involvement of more people suspected. Sharma is accused of coordinating the entire conspiracy and issuing directions to the accused. Earlier, the probe agency had stated that Sachin Waze had procured SIM cards with the help of a Gujarat-based bookie, Naresh Gor, who was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS and later handed over to the NIA.

Earlier, it was reported that Mansukh Hiren was killed in the presence of Sachin Waze. Reports claimed Mansukh Hiren was administered chloroform and then thrown in the creek from where his body was recovered. The technical mobile tower and IP evaluation suggested that Sachin Vaze was present in the vehicle when Mansukh Hiren was killed. A post mortem report had revealed that Mansukh Hiren had sustained bruises before he was killed.

Antilia bomb scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiren

On February 25, a Scorpio car with 20 gelatin sticks was found parked near Antilia, the multi-storey residence of Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai. A few days later, it was revealed that the car belonged to a person named Mansukh Hiren. The bomb-laden car was owned by Mansukh Hiren, who had alleged that his car was stolen from Mulund-Airoli link road. Hiren had also filed a police complaint about the missing car.

Days later, Hiren’s body was washed ashore in the Kalwa creek, which only deepened the mystery surrounding the explosive-laden car. Mansukh Hiren’s family had accused suspended police officer Sachin Vaze of murder. Following the family’s complaint, Maharashtra ATS had registered a murder case to investigate the death on March 7. The investigation revealed Sachin Waze’s involvement in the murder of Mansukh Hiren, following which he was arrested and sent to Taloja Jail.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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