The Mumbai crime branch, probing the murder of Vashi-based builder Sunil Kumar Loharia, are trying to ascertain if one more person had been engaged for the attack on the builder on February 16.
Sources in the crime branch said although accused they have arrested for have not mentioned that any others were involved, some witnesses have suggested to the contrary, claiming to have seen a third person attack Loharia.
During the probe, the crime branch had come to know that former encounter specialist Emmanuel Amolik was 200 metres away from the scene of the crime at Vashi that day. Apart from Amolik, the police had arrested the two shooters Venkatesh Shettiar and Wajid Kureshi who were seen in a CCTV grab while attacking Lahoria with a firearm and chopper. The trio is currently in judicial custody.
Sources said further information in the case depends on the success of the police in tracing the co-accused, builder Suresh Bijlani and architect Anurag Garg, who are currently absconding. A look-out notice has been issued by the crime branch for the duo.
Of the two shooters arrested, Shettiar had allegedly been promised Rs2 lakh for the murder by Amolik, of which Rs25,000 was paid, while Kureshi is said to have been involved out of respect for Amolik.
Police suspect it was professional rivalry between the builders that led to the incident and Amolik may have been hired to kill Loharia. The accused had earlier told the police that a petty quarrel between Amolik and Loharia over parking a vehicle had led to the murder.