Mumbai : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) seized a black Mercedes from the Crawford market area in Mumbai on Tuesday. In this search, the NIA recovered the original number plate of the explosive-laden SUV from it that was placed outside billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’ on February 25.

While speaking on the matter, NIA IG Anil Shukla said, “Sachin Vaze used to drive this car but it is being investigated who it belongs to.” The National Investigation Agency is conducting a search of the car allegedly used by Mansukh Hiren on February 17.

Sukla said that the Sachin Vaze used the seized Mercedes. The agency is now trying to trace the registered owner of the car.

The officer also said that cash worth more than Rs 5 lakh, some clothes, petrol, diesel and a counting machine was also recovered from the car.

The Mercedes was recovered from a car-parking near the Mumbai Crime Branch office close to the Crawford market.

As per the information, a CCTV camera had captured Sachin Vaze outside the car in a loose-fitting kurta, which resembled a PPE kit. The kurta was reportedly burnt by the fuel kept in the car.

The outfit worn by Vaze in the footage gains significance as the explosive-laden SUV was planted near Antilia by a man who was seen wearing a PPE kit in CCTV footage.

NIA officers on Monday night conducted searches at the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) situated in Mumbai Police headquarters. Vaze was heading this unit till last week.

This search operation went on till early morning of Tuesday. A laptop, an iPad, phone, a DVR and CCTV footage of the Saket building in Thane (Sachin Vaze’s residence) was seized by the NIA. The DVR seizure is crucial as Vaze reportedly kept the Scorpio in his society for some time.

During this search, several other incriminating documents were also seized from the Vaze’s cabin. This is said to be a massive lead for NIA against Sachin Vaze and in this case itself.

NIA has recorded statements of seven policemen of Mumbai Police including five members of CIU. Statements of Nitin Alaknure, inspector Milind Kathe, API Riyazuddin Kazi, API Prakash Howal and three constables have been recorded.

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