AURANGABAD / MUMBAI: Vehicles and number plates appear to be inextricably intertwined with the case of explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence and the subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
On Monday, a day after NIA recovered number plates among other electronic gadgets from Mithi river, Aurangabad resident Vijay Nade claimed that the two recovered number plates bearing the same registration numbers belonged to his car which was stolen from Aurangabad in November 2020. Two vehicles, a Scorpio in which explosives were placed and an Innova, which tailed it, had fake number plates.
Based on information provided by Waze, NIA, with the help of divers, recovered one laptop, one printer, two hard discs, a pair of number plates, two CPUs and two DVRs from the Mithi river on Sunday.
Several fake number plates were also recovered from the Scorpio, Innova and other SUVs used by Waze and his accomplices.
Nade, a clerk with the social justice department in Jalna, owned a Maruti Eeco vehicle bearing registration number MH-20-DP-1539. He said that on November 16 last year, he registered a complaint of theft with the City Chowk police station of Aurangabad city. Nade, a resident of Chhatrapati Nagar, New Aurangabad, told he was stunned after his stolen car’s registration number plates were found by NIA.
City Chowk police inspector Sambhaji Pawar told TOI, “The case till date has remained undetected. We will communicate with the authorities there to find out if the car was stolen from Aurangabad was used there, or if it was only the number plate that was used. ” Nade added, “I learnt about it after I started receiving calls from journalists asking for the whereabouts of the car registered in my name. This morning I reached out to police and demanded a probe.”
The DVRs were believed to have been installed at the Mumbai police headquarters and at the Thane housing society where Waze resided, sources said. The DVR at the police headquarters contained footage of vehicle movements at the police headquarters, while the second one involved shows that one of the two vehicles involved in the crime was parked in Waze’s housing society.
NIA officials said the recovered articles were identified by rightful owners / custodians, from whom the accused, Waze, had collected them illegally without proper documentation.
Also, the laptop and printer were recovered by Waze in his office. A visible effort was made by the accused to destroy the items as hammer marks are present on them, officials said.
NIA has been looking for evidence on the basis of a statement by Riyazuddin Kazi, a cop who reported to Waze. All recovered items have added to the body of evidence gathered by NIA so far in its investigation into how an explosives-laden Scorpio was planted near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s bungalow and the murder of Mansukh Hiran.