The National Investigation Agency on Thursday told a court in Mumbai that it had found 62 unaccounted bullets from the home of suspended Mumbai Police crime branch officer Sachin Vaze, who has been jailed in connection with the Mukesh Ambani security threat case, NDTV reported.
Twenty gelatin sticks were recovered from a black Scorpio found less than two kilometres from Ambani’s multi-storey home Antilia on February 25.
The investigation agency asked the court to extend Vaze’s custody, which was supposed to end on Thursday. On Thursday evening, the agency was allowed to keep Vaze in custody till April 3.
Vaze claimed before the court that he had been made a scapegoat in the case. “I have nothing to do with the crime,” he said, according to Bar and Bench. “I investigated the case for as long as I was investigating officer.”
He also denied confessing his alleged crime to the investigators. “I went to NIA on my own,” Vaze said. “And I was suddenly arrested.”
While arguing for the extension of Vaze’s custody, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said that he could be remanded for up to a month, since the central agency had invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against him.
Singh added that NIA had to investigate Vaze about the bullets too. “Vaze was allegedly granted 30 bullets as part of his service, but now he has only five bullets left,” Singh said, according to Bar and Bench. “This has to be investigated.”
The additional solicitor general told the court that inquiry has to be conducted into the car number plates and mobile phone discarded by Vaze. “This is one of the most serious case, not only in Mumbai, but in the entire country,” he said. “Everybody is shocked to find the police involved in this case, planting explosives. He was himself investigating the case.”
Vaze had been arrested by the NIA on March 13 after being questioned about his alleged links with auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiren, the reported owner of the SUV that was found outside Ambani’s house Antilia last month. A day later, he was sent to NIA custody till March 25.
Hiren was found dead near Mumbai on March 5. His wife had alleged that Vaze, the first investigating officer in the bomb scare case, had used the car found outside Ambani’s residence for four months and returned it on February 5. She had also accused Vaze of having a role in her husband’s death.
Last week, the Centre had handed over the inquiry into Hiren’s death to the central agency. The NIA is already investigating the case related to the recovery of the explosives.