The NIA custody of a dismissed cop and a bookie arrested in connection with the death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran has been extended till April 7 by a special court in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Vinayak Shinde, the jailed former cop currently on parole and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur were arrested by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on March 21 but the case was subsequently taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on March 24.

NIA Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves, seeking 10 days additional custody, said that the probe agency has seized two mobile, one iPhone, 7 SIM cards, a blank cover of SIM card, a note with 14 mobile numbers mentioned including 5 in the name of arrested-suspected cop and prime accused Sachin Vaze with ‘Ok’ written (for activation) beside them.

He said that Gaur had given those 5 numbers to co-accused Shinde who in turn gave them to Vaze and these were later allegedly used for the conspiracy and crime pertaining to the SUV Scorpio abandoned on February 25 near Antilia building, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, followed by Hiran’s mystery death on March 5.

Gonsalves argued that Vaze and Shinde were present when the conspiracy was hatched, and Gaur has given a disclosure statement after which the NIA recovered a laptop, DVRs and other materials which were fished out from the Mithi River on Sunday (March 28).

He also contended that investigators need to find 2 of the total 14 SIM cards that emerged in the probe, want to confront the accused trio with each other, and unravel the full conspiracy of the two cases even as the NIA sleuths inch closer to cracking the motive behind these sensational crimes.

During their parallel probes, the ATS and NIA have seized or examined around half a dozen luxury cars used/driven by Vaze, recreated the crime scene near Antilia and the Thane Creek marshes (where Hiran’s body was found), arrested the Shinde-Gaur duo, searched the Mumbai Police’s Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) offices, amid other aspects of the sensitive cases.

The main accused Vaze is currently in NIA custody till April 3.

(With IANS inputs)