NIA searches office of ex-cop Pradeep Sharma's NGO

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Mumbai, Jun 23 (PTI) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted searches at the office of former 'encounter specialist' police officer Pradeep Sharma's NGO in suburban Andheri, days after his arrest in connection with the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV from outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani and the subsequent murder of Mansukh Hiran, sources said.

NIA officials reached the office of P S Foundation located in the Andheri MIDC area this evening and conducted searches, the sources said, adding the NIA team remained in the office for several hours.

Details like what the NIA team was looking for and what it recovered from the office during the searches are not available. The NIA had arrested Sharma last week along with Satish Mothkuri and Manish Soni for their alleged role in the larger conspiracy regarding the recovery of the SUV on February 25 and the murder of Hiran, who reportedly owned the car, whose body was found in a creek in Thane district on March 5.

Sharma and two others are in NIA custody till June 28.

The NIA so far arrested Mumbai Police officers Sachin Waze, who is the prime accused in the case, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, former police constable Vinayak Shinde- all dismissed from service, cricket bookie Naresh Gor, and Santosh Shelar and Anand Jadhav.

The investigation suggested that Waze and Mane had handed over Hiran to Mothkuri, Soni, Shelar and Jadhav on March 4. Hiran was subsequently smothered by the accused inside a vehicle and his body was dumped in the creek. The agency had told the court that Hiran was killed at the behest of Sharma and Waze. PTI DC NSK NSK

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