Waze drove car that followed explosives-laden SUV: official

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Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) The Innova car that tailed the explosives-laden Scorpio which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani here on February 25 was prima facie driven by Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze, currently in the custody of the NIA, an official said on Wednesday.

The Scorpio was suspected to be driven by the driver of Waze.

The National Investigation Agency is probing the cases of the recovery of the explosives-laden Innova and the subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, the purported owner of that vehicle.

Before these cases were taken over by the NIA, the ATS had investigated them.

He said the Innova car could be seen in the CCTV footage at Mulund checkpost going towards Thane from south Mumbai.

The SUV was later driven to the compound of the Mumbai Police commissioner's office in south Mumbai, the official said.

As the name of assistant police inspector Waze cropped up in the case, the ATS feared that he might shift the Innova from the compound of the CP's office to destroy the evidence, which prompted the ATS to launch a covert operation to keep a close eye on the SUV.

The ATS had planned to arrest any person if he is found seated in the Innova or driving it outside the CP's office, he disclosed and added that the operation was monitored by ATS DIG Shivdeep Lande.

It was only because of the covert surveillance by the ATS that the SUV remained safe as a piece of evidence, the official claimed.

The NIA seized the Innova after it took over the probe.

Speaking about the Scorpio, containing gelatin sticks, which was found parked outside Ambani's residence, the official said this SUV was parked on the compound of the CP's office from February 19 to 21 this year.

It was Hiran who had parked the Scorpio near Airoli- Mulund bridge on February 17 and went to Mumbai in an Ola cab to meet someone, he said.

Hiran later registered an FIR that the Scorpio was stolen, however, the investigation shows that the SUV was driven from the spot on the instructions of Waze, and it was taken to his residential society in Thane, he said.

The Scorpio was later driven to the CP office in Mumbai on February 19 and driven again to the housing society on February 21, he said.

The SUV was finally driven to south Mumbai and abandoned outside Ambani's residence on the late night of February 24, he said.

He said the ATS had sent a letter to Mumbai Police to preserve CCTV footage of the compound of the CP's office.

That footage is safely stored in the main server now, he added.

The official said the gelatin sticks were probably kept in the Scorpio near Priyadarshini Park in suburban Chembur before it proceeded to Carmichael Road where Ambani's residence is located. PTI DC NSK NSK