NIA seizes printer used to generate Mukesh Ambani threat letter from arrested cop’s residence

(This story was first published in the Times of India on March 23, 2021)

MUMBAI: NIA seized a printer from arrested constable Vinayak Shinde’s flat in Kalwa, which it said was used to print a threat letter recovered from the explosive-laden Scorpio parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s bungalow on February 25. Officials also seized a register with details of financial transactions from arrested inspector Sachin Vaze’s office at the police headquarters.

The letter, to Mukesh and his wife Nita, was written in broken English. In the letter, the scare was called a trailer and warned that explosives would be in assembled form next time. Shinde, a convicted cop on parole for his role in Lakhan Bhaiya encounter case of 2007, had been arrested along with bookie Naresh Gor. An NIA team on Monday visited a five-star hotel in South Mumbai and collected CCTV footage as Vaze has been staying in a room for long, sources said. Vaze is in NIA custody for allegedly planting explosives in a Scorpio parked near Antilia on February 25.

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CCTV footage showed Vaze walking in with two bags, which officials believe contained cash.

State anti-terrorism squad on Monday brought a businessman from Kutch, Gujarat, who allegedly supplied 14 SIM cards to Gor, arrested in the Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran murder case. The businessman had procured the cards stating that he wanted to use it for his trading business but he handed over the SIM cards to Gor, who gave the cards to Shinde, arrested in the murder case. “Earlier too, the businessman supplied five SIM cards to Gor, who wanted to use it for gambling. We are recording his statement,” said an ATS officer.

A day after NIA arrested Vaze on March 14, officials searched CIU’s office at the new building at Police headquarters at Crawford Market. Officials took away the CPU, his iPad, and three bags of documents. The register reportedly has code names against which amounts are mentioned. The register seizure assumes significance as former police commissioner Param Bir Singh on Saturday wrote to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh had called Vaze to his official residence and instructed him to collect Rs 100 crore every month. Deshmukh rubbished the claims. NIA may forward the details to ED.


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