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, according to an NDTV report.
The car was stolen recently and a threatening letter addressed to Mukesh and Nita Ambani was retrieved from the vehicle, said the Mumbai Police PRO.
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 suspicious black Scorpio
As per DCP S Chaitanya, the stationary Scorpio, parked on Carmichael Road, got noticed around 3 pm on Thursday.
The Mumbai Police official, on condition of anonymity, shared that the vehicle was parked with a fake number plate. The car was, as per the official, stolen from Mumbai’s Vikhroli area.
An offence has been reportedly registered in this regard at Gamdevi Police Station under Sections 286, 465, 473, 506(2),120(B) of IPC and Section 4 of Explosive Substances Act 1908.
Along with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is also looking into the matter.
Sharing that its chassis number had been damaged, the official informed that the police still managed to uncover its identity and the real owner has since been identified.
The police is carrying out a technical and forensic analysis of the car. They have also gathered CCTV footages 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 is 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.
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.
The FIR has been registered at the Gamdevi Police Station against unidentified persons, a Mumbai Police spokesperson said.
Police have registered the case under Indian Penal Code sections 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 465 (punishment for forgery), 473 (making or possessing counterfeit seal), 506(2) (criminal intimidation, if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), the spokesperson said.
Section four of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908, (punishment for attempt to cause explosion, or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property) has also been included in the FIR, the official said, adding that the vehicle has been seized.
The registration number on the vehicle's number plate was the same as that of an SUV in Ambani's security detail, police had said. The number plate is fake and the car was stolen from another part of the city.
A letter was also found inside the car, the spokesperson said, without revealing its contents.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had 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.'
Mukesh Ambani’s house, a 27-storey building called Antilia, is one of the world's most luxurious private homes with three helipads, a 168-car garage, a ballroom, high speed elevators, a theatre, swimming pool, and a snow room.
An offence has also reportedly been registered in this regard at Gamdevi Police Station under Sections 286, 465, 473, 506(2),120(B) of IPC and Section 4 of Explosive Substances Act 1908.
As per The Indian Express, along with the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad is also looking into the matter.
"We are investigating the matter. The suspect car is being examined. Let's wait for the investigation," Shambhuraj Desai, MOS Home, said to The Deccan Herald.
The police were alerted after Ambani’s security personnel notified them on it. Over a hundred police personnel reached the spot with the bomb detection and disposal squad, dog squad, and quick response team (QRT) commandos.
As per The Indian Express, Mukesh Ambani already has ‘Z-plus’ security cover, which is the highest protection the government provides. In light of this recent event, the security outside his home, Antilla, has also been increased.
Inputs: The Quint, PTI, Agencies