The National Investigation Agency (NIA), after arresting Sachin Vaze on 13 March, started an investigation into the 25 February incident of tracing a bomb-laden car near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house Antilia in south Mumbai.
The NIA took Vaze into custody and charged him with sections relating to conspiracy, criminal intimidation, negligent conduct in dealing with explosives, forgery, and possession of counterfeit seal.
Vaze was working with the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), Mumbai. He was in charge of the investigation into the terror threat outside Ambani’s house. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis alleged that Vaze had been in touch with Mansukh Hiren, a person with a car decor business in Thane who had possession of the “Scorpio” car that cause the security scare outside Antilia.
Hiren had registered a report of the car missing the week before it appeared in front of the Ambani’s house. Fadanvis presented the call recordings between Vaze and Hiren in the state assembly and alleged that Vaze was the first person to reach the spot where it was parked outside Antilia on Mumbai’s Charmichael Road. Vaze denied this charge.
The dead body of Hiren was found in Kalwa creek on the same day Fadanvis presented call records in the assembly. Hiren’s wife alleged that Sachin Vaze was the one behind her husband’s murder. She further alleged that the Scorpio car was with Vaze for several months until 5 February. The ATS is investigating the Hiran murder case had registered an FIR against an unidentified person.
NIA sources said that a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado had been found parked outside Waze’s residence in the Saket area of adjoining Thane.
A Mercedes car linked to Vaze was 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.
Fadnavis claimed that when he was the Maharashtra chief minister, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had called him in 2018 to seek reinstatement of the then suspended police officer Vaze into the state police force. He 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.
Fadanvis said, “It could be a coincidence, but the sheer number of coincidences with regard to Vaze, in this case, is more than in a Bollywood film.”
Vaze joined the Police force in 1990 and was posted to Gadchiroli. He later moved to Thane Police and then Mumbai Police Crime Branch. He worked as an assistant police inspector with Mumbai Police. He was one of the members of the famous “encounter specialist” in Mumbai along with Daya Naik and Pradeep Sharma. He left the job in 2007 and later joined Shiv Sena.
He was rehabilitated into the force in June 2020 and put in charge of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU). He started handling some of the most high-profile cases. He worked on cases such as fake social media followers case where rapper Badshah was summoned, TRP Scam, Dilip Chabria case and Hrithik Roshan’s fake email case.