Updated: June 25, 2021 7:26:23 am
Already in jail over the bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house, former police officer Sachin Waze will now face a separate “open enquiry” by investigators of the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for alleged ownership of assets disproportionate to income.
The probe was initiated after Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, acting as the “competent authority” for approval in such cases, gave the green signal earlier this week to a request sent by the ACB to the Home Department in April.
A state government official told The Indian Express that under an open enquiry, investigators can summon people for questioning, call for official documents like Income Tax returns and salary statements, and seek details about movable and immovable assets.
Waze, who was an Assistant Police Inspector, was dismissed from Mumbai Police after his arrest by the NIA on March 13 for his alleged role in the bomb scare at Antilla on February 25.
According to the official, the Police Commissioner informed the ACB in a letter that since Waze is no longer a government servant, no permission is needed to conduct an enquiry against him. “Based on the letter, we have started an open enquiry against Waze,” an official said.
Earlier, the NIA had said that during investigation, it allegedly found Rs 1.5 crore in a private bank in the name of a company floated by Waze. It also said that Waze had allegedly given sums of Rs 40 lakh and Rs 36 lakh separately in cash to an accomplice over the past few months.
Several cars allegedly used by Waze have also been seized by the NIA. Further, officials of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) had submitted a statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), alleging that Waze extorted Rs 30 lakh from them while investigating the TRP scam earlier this year.
“There will be an investigation to find out the assets owned by Waze and the source of funds. If any discrepancy is found, an FIR can be registered against Waze following which his custody can be sought by the agency,” the official said.
Earlier this year, an RTI query filed with the ACB had revealed that there were two bribery and disproportionate assets complaints registered against Waze in the past few years.
One complaint was received in 2004, when Waze was suspended following his alleged involvement in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case, and the second after his reinstatement in June 2020. The ACB had, however, said that they did not take any action since the complaints were anonymous.
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