Sachin Vaze (C) is currently in NIA custody in the Mukesh Ambani security scare case
NEW DELHI: The
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad
(ATS) on Tuesday named assistant police inspector
as the prime accused in the alleged murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, whose Scorpio laden with explosives was found abandoned near Mukesh Ambani’s residence on February 25.
Addressing a press conference,
ATS DG Jai Jeet Singh said his team has gathered enough evidence to establish Vaze's role in the murder plot of Hiran.
The ATS had earlier found that Hiran had received a phone call at 8.20pm on March 4, prompting him to step out of the house.
He is suspected to have been assaulted in a moving car and his body dumped in the Mumbra creek, which was found a day later on March 5.
Giving details about the investigation, Singh said that ATS has recovered the SIM cards that were used in the plot.
"We found that a Gujarat-based bookie Naresh Gaur had distributed these SIM cards under instructions from Vaze and was part of the entire conspiracy," Singh told reporters.
He said that another suspended police officer,
, was also involved in the alleged murder plot.
Both Shinde and Gaur were arrested by the ATS on March 21 and are considered close associates of Vaze.
"We have also retrieved the Volvo car that was used in the plot hatched by Vaze in connivance with his associates ... the car seized today from Daman is being analysed by the forensic labs in Mumbai," the Maharashtra ATS chief said.
He added that some of the SIM cards as well as the CCTV footage evidence were destroyed by Vaze and his associates.
During interrogation, Vaze has denied his role in the case and said he was never in possession of the SUV, Singh said.
He further said that the ATS wants to thoroughly investigate Vaze, and would require his custody.
Vaze is currently in the custody of
, which is probing the Ambani security scare case.
Earlier, ATS officials had said that more than half a dozen people are currently under the scanner for their role in Hiran's death.