- CCTV footage from Sachin Vaze's housing society deleted, sources say.
- Sachin Vaze may have brought the SUV to his residence.
- Figure seen in CCTV footage may be Sachin Vaze himself.
Suspended Mumbai policeman Sachin Vaze, arrested for his suspected role in the placement of an explosives-laden car outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, is found to have seized his own housing society's digital video recorder (DVR) while he was probing the case under the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU). The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which later arrested him, is probing if the CCTV footage from the DVR had been tampered with. It is also looking into the possibility of Mr Vaze having brought the SUV to his own residential compound.
The Mahindra Scorpio carrying gelatin sticks was found on Mumbai's Carmichael Road, near Mr Ambani's Antilia building, on February 25. It carried a threat letter to the Reliance Industries chief's family. Mr Vaze, an Assistant Police Inspector with the CIU then, was the first investigating officer in the case. The vehicle was traced to one Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based auto parts dealer, who had reported it stolen on February 17.
Mysteriously, Mr Hiran was found dead in a Mumbra creek on March 5. His wife alleged that Mr Vaze had borrowed the same vehicle for four months till he returned it on February 5. She also accused the cop of having a role in her husband's death, following which the NIA took over the case of the threat to Mr Ambani. The businessman's death and the theft of his car were being probed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.
Mr Vaze was arrested by NIA on Saturday, days after his transfer from CIU to the Citizen Facilitation Centre at the Mumbai police headquarters. He was yesterday suspended from service.
The NIA is now curious as to why Mr Vaze would seize the DVR and CCTV footage of his own residential society. This came to the fore when the agency visited the locality as part of the probe. Sources now say that the footage has been deleted from the DVR. It is suspected that he may have done it to wipe out any evidence against him after his ties to Mr Hiran was exposed. Sources also report the visuals of a PPE-clad man in the CCTV footage, which could be Mr Vaze himself.
The agency is also questioning the CIU Assistant Police Inspector Riyaz Kazi in this regard.