NIA seizes two more luxury cars linked to suspended Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze, BJP demands NIA probe

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MUMBAI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has seized two more luxury cars allegedly used by suspended Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze.

According to NIA sources, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was found parked outside Waze’s residence in the Saket area of adjoining Thane. A Mercedes car linked to Sachin Waze was also seized but it was not clear from where it was picked up. The total number of vehicles seized has gone up to five, including another Mercedes, a Scorpio and an Innova.

The vehicles were brought to the NIA office at Cumballa Hill on Pedder Road here. The NIA also called two policemen, including an aide of Waze and a senior police inspector, for questioning, sources said.

It may e noted that the NIA had arrested Waze on Saturday night in connection with the security scare outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

Under fire over handling of the bomb scare outside Ambani’s house, Maharashtra Government on Wednesday shifted Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to the Home Guard. Senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale has replaced Singh as Mumbai police commissioner.

The NIA on Tuesday seized a black Mercedes from the Crawford market area in Mumbai and recovered from it the original number place of the explosive-laden SUV that was placed outside billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’ on February 25.

A 27-year-old travel operator said on Wednesday he sold the Mercedes-Benz car in February to a website that deals in used vehicles. He said he did not know Waze.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said Param Bir Singh was transferred after some of his colleagues committed “serious and unforgivable mistakes”.

In his first public comments after Singh’s transfer, Deshmukh said he was shifted to ensure that the probe into police officer Sachin Waze episode is conducted “properly and without hindrance”.

Deshmukh said the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the NIA are conducting the probe into the episode “professionally”. He said that action will be taken against whoever is found guilty in the respective probes by the NIA and ATS.

“This is not an administrative transfer (of Singh). Some things have come to light through the probes conducted by the NIA and the ATS,” Deshmukh said.

“Some of the colleagues of the (former) Mumbai police chief (Singh) committed some serious mistakes. Those are unforgivable mistakes. Hence, he was transferred. Further action will be taken based on the probe report,” he added.

Asked about the BJP and the MNS’s allegation that political bosses of the officials are not being acted against, Deshmukh said, “The NIA and ATS are conducting the probe professionally. They will definitely find out whoever is guilty.”

Waze was arrested by the NIA on March 13 in the probe into the recovery of explosives from the SUV. He was later suspended. Waze, an “encounter specialist”, has also been facing heat in the murder case of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of that SUV. Hiran was found dead in a creek in the Thane district on March 5.

The ATS is investigating the Hiran murder case. It had registered an FIR against unidentified persons, days after Hiran’s body was found. Hiran’s wife accused Waze of involvement in her husband’s suspicious death.

Earlier on Wednesday, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis claimed that when he was Maharashtra chief minister, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had called him in 2018 to seek reinstatement of the then suspended police officer Sachin Waze into the state police force.

He also accused the Shiv Sena of pressuring him over this demand at that time and demanded an NIA probe into the whole incident involving Sachin Waze.

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