The National Investigation Agency on Sunday recovered a digital video recorder, a laptop, central processing units, and two number plates allegedly belonging to suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, The Indian Express reported.
The central agency is investigating Vaze, a Mumbai Police crime branch officer, in connection with the Mukesh Ambani bomb threat case. Twenty gelatin sticks were recovered from a black Scorpio found less than two kilometres from Ambani’s multi-storey home Antilia on February 25.
“During interrogation of accused Sachin Vaze, he disclosed willingly to show the place where he threw the material used in the crime and destroyed the evidence,” the NIA said in a statement. “Accordingly, two independent witnesses were called and his voluntary statement was recorded. Further, accused showed the place as Mitthi River, BKC [Bandra Kurla Complex], Bandra (East), Mumbai.”
The statement said that the items recovered were identified by their owners or custodians, adding that Vaze had allegedly taken the items from them illegally. “Also, the laptop and printer recovered was used by Sachin Vaze in his office,” it said. “A visible effort was made by the accused to destroy the same as hammer marks are present on them.”
An unidentified official of the NIA said that the electronic devices would be sent to forensic examination to retrieve data. It is also suspected that the laptop and printer were used in creating the threat note found in the explosives-laden vehicle outside Ambani’s residence.
Assistant Police Inspector Riyazuddin Kaazi, who was also questioned in the case, had reportedly informed the NIA that the evidence was thrown into the river, according to PTI. Kaazi had allegedly taken the digital video recorder from Waze’s housing society on the latter’s instructions.
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. 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.
On March 20, the Centre had handed over the inquiry into Hiren’s death to the central agency.