In the recently submitted charge sheet against Sachin Vaze in the Antilia Bomb case and Mansukh Hiren murder case, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that the dismissed Mumbai Police officer had formulated the conspiracy to place Genatine sticks (explosives) and a threat note in a Scorpio close to the house of RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani to prove himself as “an ace detective”. Notably, he was famous as a top detective before he got suspended due to his alleged involvement in the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus. Yunus died in custody in 2003, and Vaze was suspended from the service in 2004. He was reinstated to the service in 2020 by the Uddhav Thackeray govt even though the case again him was still going on.
The charge sheet further added that the whole conspiracy was formulated for monetary gains by putting pressure on wealthy and prosperous individuals. The aim was to allegedly extort money by threatening them with dire consequences. Vaze was head of the CIU department of Mumbai Police, and a number of sensitive cases came under his jurisdiction. It was mentioned in the charge sheet that his office was allegedly collecting huge amounts of money by extorting individuals and he used a part of the money collected to hatch the said conspiracy.
The agency said in the charge sheet, “He (Vaze) wanted to regain his clout as an ace detective/encounter specialist. Thus, he hatched a conspiracy to place the Scorpio laden with Gelatine sticks (explosives), and a threat note addressed to Chairman of a major business group near his residence”. NIA further added that Vaze was instrumental in placing explosive-laden Scorpio in close proximity of Antilia in the intervening night of February 24-25, 2021. The vehicle was found to be in the name of Mansukh Hiren, who was believed to be an acquaintance of Vaze.
Vaze had convinced Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hirento to file a false complaint of theft of his vehicle through Vaze himself took it, said the agency. The charge sheet further explained that Vaze “falsely projected” the incident being committed by “Jaish-Ul-Hind”, which is a designated terrorist organization. After the case got transferred to CIU Mumbai from Gamdevi Police Station, Vaze became the investigating officer for the case.
When Vaze realized there was a lot of noise about the detection of an explosive-laden vehicle, he allegedly pressurized Hiren to take the responsibility of placing Scorpio outside Antilia, to which the businessman refused. The charge sheet added, “Thus he conspired with other co-accused Sunil Mane, Pradeep Sharma to eliminate Mansukh Hiren. He persuaded Mansukh Hiren to go into hiding till the matter gets settled and assured to facilitate the same.”
While explaining the conspiracy further, the charge sheet stated that the accused Mane picked Mansukh and handed over him to other co-accused Santosh Shelar, Anand Jadhav, Satish Mothkuri, and Manish Soni. They killed the businessman and dumped his body which was later recovered by the Police.
The charge sheet said, “For the commission of this heinous crime, accused persons had used exclusive mobile phones, Benami SIM Cards provided by Vinayak Shinde and Naresh Gor. Sachin Vaze had also conspired with Riyazuddin Kazi to destroy the evidence collected during the investigation being conducted by him while being IO of the case in CIU Mumbai, in order to avoid detection.”
The charge sheet was filed by the investigating agency on September 3 against ten persons in connection to the three cases in a special court in Mumbai under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, sections 3 and 25 of Arms Act, section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act and sections, 16, 18 and 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The ten accused arrested in the case are Sachin Vaze, Naresh Ramniklal Gor, Vinayak Balasaheb Shinde, Riyazuddin Hisamuddin Kazi, Sunil Dharma Mane, Santosh Atmaram Shelar, Anand Pandurang Jadhav, Satish Tirupati Mothkuri, Manish Vasantbhai Soni and Pradeep Rameshwar Sharma.
The first case included in the charge was filed on February 25 at Gamdevi Police Station in Mumbai regarding the detection of Scorpio loaded with explosives on Carmichael Road near Antilia. A threat note was found with 20 sticks of gelatine addressed to Mukesh Ambani.
The second case was registered at Vikhroli Police Station in Mumbai, linked to the theft of Scorpio. The third case was registered at Mumbra Police Station, Thane, linked to the recovery of the dead body of Mansukh Hiren from Mumbra creek on March 5.