Ambani bomb scare mystery: Owner of SUV laden with explosives found dead

Malini T
·4-min read

Mansukh Hiren, the man whose SUV laden with explosives was abandoned outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's home Antilia in Mumbai, has been found dead in mysterious circumstances.

The Thane district police said they recovered Hiren's body on Friday. The cops added that it appears that Hiren died by suicide, possibly by jumping into the Kalwa creek, and a case of accidental death has been registered.

On February 26, hours after the huge security scare over an abandoned car was found with explosives near Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai, the police said that its owner has been traced.

The registered owner of the SUV, a Mahindra Scorpio, was one Mansukh Hiren. Hiren said that his car had not been in use for over a year and that he recently drove the vehicle because he wanted to sell it.

He also told the police that his car broke down and he decided to park it on the Mulund-Airoli Link Road on February 16, but when he came back for the vehicle a day later, he found that it had already been stolen. He had filed a complaint about his stolen vehicle with the police, according to an India Today report.

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Give probe into car found near Ambani's house to NIA: Fadnavis

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis meanwhile has demanded that the probe into the explosives-laden car found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai be handed over to the National Investigation Agency.

He was speaking in the state Legislative Assembly on the issue of the law and order situation in the state.

Fadnavis said there are a number of coincidences that lead to suspicion in the Ambani threat case.

The owner of the vehicle and a police official had a telephonic conversation as well, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly said.

'That police official was the first to reach the spot outside Ambani's residence instead ofthe personnel of the local police station and crime branch officials,' Fadnavis said.

The former chief minister said the owner left the vehicle in Thane and came to Crawford Market in south Mumbai, which is close to the police commissionerate.

'The owner of the vehicle met a person at Crawford Market. Who is that? The vehicle owner lives in Thane and the police official who was the first to reach the spot also lives in Thane,' he said.

'So many coincidences lead to suspicion and hence the probe must be handed over to the NIA,' he said.

Fadnavis also said it was the duty of the government to ensure there is no threat to the life of the owner of the vehicle. 

Car also had letter threatening the Ambanis

The car also had a threatening letter addressed to Mukesh and Nita Ambani. The letter, typed in broken English, said that the events of Thursday were ‘just a trailer’ and that all parts found in the car would be connected next time, and would be delivered in an ‘original car.’

Further, the note also conveyed a fatal threat to the family of the Mumbai-based industrialist, claiming that they should ‘watch out’.

A man in a mask and a hoodie was seen parking the car in security footage from the spot, but he has not been identified, police said.

An FIR has been registered in connection with the seizure of a vehicle, which had explosive material inside it, from near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in South Mumbai, police said on Friday.

The police also carried out a technical and forensic analysis of the car. They have also gathered CCTV footage from multiple locations from where the car passed on Mumbai roads.

As per the police official, there was another car – a white Innova – tailing the black Scorpio and the police was investigating that vehicle too.

What was in the vehicle?

Mumbai Police PRO has reportedly informed ANI that some amount of Gelatin and a letter have been retrieved from the vehicle. However, the PRO added that since the investigation is in its preliminary stage, they cannot divulge the contents of the letter.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai Police official also informed, among other things, that the gelatin found in the car was not of military grade gelatin but commercial grade gelatine, which is generally used in construction-related activity.

The Mumbai Police PRO had also previously informed ANI that the gelatin was not an assembled explosive device.

The suspect

As per the Mumbai Police official, the suspect who parked the car near Ambani’s house was seen in a CCTV footage but is yet to be identified, as he was clad in a mask and a hoodie.

Explosives, fake number plate

The vehicle with gelatin sticks and apparently a fake number plate was found parked on Thursday on Carmichael Road near 'Antilia', the multi-storey residence of Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries.

Twenty gelatin sticks - material used in explosives — were found in the car by the bomb disposal squad, the police said on Thursday.

The police are gathering CCTV footage from various parts of Mumbai to track the route of the car.

The gelatin was not military grade but of the commercial kind that is usually used in construction, digging or mining, police said. Inputs: PTI, ANI, India Today, The Quint

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