NIA searches Waze's office at crime branch, questions another cop

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Mumbai, Mar 16 (PTI) The NIA which is probing the case related to the recovery of an SUV with explosives near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house has searched the Crime Intelligence Unit's (CIU) office here, a police official said on Tuesday.

It is also questioning a police official attached to the CIU, he said.

Suspended police official Sachin Waze, arrested in the case on March 13, was attached to the CIU of city police's crime branch. The office is located in the police commissioner's office compound in south Mumbai.

The National Investigation Agency team recovered some 'incriminating' documents and electronic evidence such as laptop, I-pad and mobile phones from Waze's office there, the official said.

The searches started around 8 pm on Monday and were going on till 4 am on Tuesday, he said.

The NIA has so far recorded statements of seven officials of Crime Branch including an Assistant Commissioner of Police, the official said.

The agency also questioned, on the third consecutive day, CIU unit Assistant Police Inspector (API) Riyazuddin Kazi, he added.

Kazi had collected Digital Video Record (DVR) of CCTVs from the housing society in Saket area of Thane where Waze lived on February 27, two days after the explosives-laden Scorpio was found on Carmichael Road near Ambani's house.

The DVR was not mentioned in the list of Muddemal' (seized evidence), and the probe agency suspects that it was collected to destroy evidence which could implicate Waze himself, the official said.

The wife of businessman Mansukh Hiran, who had claimed the Scorpio was stolen from his possession and who died mysteriously, has alleged that the SUV was being used by Waze for some time.

API Kazi had also allegedly procured fake number plates found in the SUV, the police official claimed.

His presence at many places related to the crime brought him on the NIA's radar and his questioning was underway, the official said.

The person seen in the CCTV footage of Carmichael Road on February 25 was also the 'police official' involved in the crime and it will be further ascertained by forensic analysis, the official added.

The Innova car used in the crime was assigned to a CIU unit and was found with Motor Transport section of Mumbai police the day after Waze's arrest on March 13. It was parked in the MT section for two days and before that at the police commissioner's office compound, the official said.

The SUV case was taken over by the NIA following Mansukh Hiran's death. A special court has remanded Waze in the custody of the central agency till March 25. PTI DC KRK KRK