On-camera statements claim Param Bir Singh was the one whom Sachin Waze called ‘No. 1’
Param Bir Singh, former Mumbai police commissioner (right) Dismissed cop Sachin Waze
The Mumbai Crime Branch, investigating one of the extortion cases against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, has recorded on-camera statements of at least 12 witnesses, who have said that they gave protection money to dismissed cop Sachin Waze. The money, they said, went to Singh, whom Waze called his No. 1.
Singh was summoned by the Crime Branch on October 12 but he did not turn up. In his statement to the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a money laundering case against former state home minister Anil Deshmukh, Waze had said that he used to refer to the minister as the No. 1. However, according to the Mumbai Crime Branch, the ‘No. 1’ was Singh.
According to sources, the witnesses in the Crime Branch’s case have claimed that Waze referred to Singh as his No. 1 and that the money he collected went to him. The case against Singh, Waze, and others, was registered by builder Bimal Agarwal at Goregaon police station in August. Agarwal has alleged that the accused extorted R9 lakh from him in exchange for stopping raids on two bars and restaurants that he used to run in a partnership. He was also forced to buy two flip phones worth around R2.92 lakh for Waze and another officer. Both flip phones have been recovered by the Crime Branch.
According to sources, Waze had given his for exchange at a shop as he did not like its silver colour. Before he could settle the exchange, he was arrested by the NIA in the Antilia and Mansukh Hiran murder cases. The incident took place between January 2020 and March 2021.
The case was transferred to the Unit XI of the Crime Branch, which has also verified an audiotape containing a WhatsApp call where Waze is allegedly using code words to extort money from builders and hoteliers. The WhatsApp call was recorded by the complainant. “We believe that there is prima facie evidence against Singh and he has to clarify certain things which have emerged during the ongoing probe,” a senior officer of the Mumbai Crime Branch said. Copies of the summons to Singh were sent to all his known addresses. Singh didn’t respond to any. “We will follow the due course of law and the summons will be issued again if he doesn’t respond,” an officer said.