A day after a huge security scare over an abandoned car found with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai home, the police say its owner has been traced. The car was stolen recently and had a handwritten letter addressed to the Reliance chairman and Nita Ambani inside, the city's police said. A man in a mask and a hoodie is seen parking the car in security footage from the spot, but he has not been identified.
A few number plates have also been found in the Scorpio that was parked on Carmichael Road in south Mumbai, close to Mukesh Ambani's towering home Antilia, after midnight on Wednesday.
Twenty gelatin sticks - material used in explosives -- were found in the car by the bomb disposal squad, the police said yesterday. A Mumbai police spokesperson said the number plate of the SUV matched that of a vehicle on Mukesh Ambani's security detail.
A handwritten letter was also found, reportedly addressed to Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, but no details have been released on record. The letter is in English script but the language is Hindi.
The number plate is fake and the car was stolen from another part of the city, Vikhroli, the police said. The car's owner has been identified despite apparent attempts to wipe off the chassis number. The police are gathering CCTV footage from various parts of the city to track the route of the car. An Innova car seen following the car has also been tracked down.
The gelatin was not military grade but of the commercial kind that is usually used in construction, digging or mining, police sources say.
In a statement, Reliance Industries said: "We are thankful to Mumbai Police for their quick and immediate action. We are confident that Mumbai Police will complete their thorough investigation quickly."
Mumbai policemen have been posted outside Antilia since the car was found parked around 1.4 km away from the building, which has heavy security cover.
"Police have deployed police personnel across the city and are conducting searches. The vehicle has been seized for investigation. A letter has been found inside the suspicious vehicle," Mumbai Police said on Thursday.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh also tweeted: "Twenty gelatin explosives sticks were found in a Scorpio van in the vicinity of industrialist Mukesh Ambani''s residence in Mumbai. The Mumbai Crime Branch police is investigating the matter and the findings will be out soon."
The 27-storey Antilia is one of the world's largest and most luxurious private homes.