A resident of Aurangabad has claimed that the number plates recovered by the NIA as part of its probe into the death of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran - the owner of the explosives-laden SUV found near businessman Mukesh Ambani's home earlier this month, and whose body was found a few days later - is registered to his car, which he reported stolen in November last year.
Vijay Madhukar Nade, who works as a clerk in the Social Welfare Department in Jalna district, claimed his car was stolen from Aurangabad's Uddhavrao Patil Chowk on November 16; he filed a FIR (first information report) with the police the following day.
"My car - with the number MH-20-FP-1539 - was stolen on November 16, 2020, and an FIR was filed. I have a copy of the same. For three months, there was no information but yesterday, I was informed about it," Mr Nade said on Monday.
The number plate Mr Nade says is his was recovered from the Mithi river - from the spot where Mansukh Hiran's body was found - on Sunday. This was after Mumbai policeman Sachin Waze had been taken there by the authorities to recover evidence he allegedly tried to destroy.
Waze - a controversial police officer who was first at the site of the Ambani bomb scare and initially tasked with investigating the case - is being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over links to Mansukh Hiran, the allegedly stolen cars and the explosives-laden SUV.
Among other items divers recovered computer CPUs and a laptop.
Last week the NIA also recovered a cache of live ammunition from Waze's home - sixty-two bullets - and said that only five of the 30 issued for his service weapon were accounted for.
Investigators have said Waze and Hiran met on February 17, when the keys to the SUV - which Hiran later said had been stolen - were exchanged. He made the claim to Waze during initial inquiries into the Ambani security scare, but made no mention of their meeting.
The SUV was subsequently found less than two kilometres from Antilla - Mr Ambani's 27-storey home in south Mumbai - on March 4, with 20 gelatin sticks - and a handwritten letter to the Reliance chairman and his wife, Nita Ambani, inside.
On Wednesday the NIA said Waze and other accused would be charged under anti-terror law UAPA; agency sources said the presence and quantity of explosives indicated terrorist action.