Man arrested in connection to suspicious package found at Miami condo

MIAMI (WSVN) - New details have been released after a suspicious package was found at a Miami condominium.

Police arrested 46-year-old Anand Raja on Thursday.

“Apparently, he left some luggage behind,” City of Miami Police spokesperson Kenia Fallat said. “When they did inventory, they saw something that appeared to be suspicious.”

The Venetian Causeway and part of the airport was shut down after authorities were alerted of a suspicious package, Wednesday morning.

Officials tried finding the owner of the luggage, which led them to Raja. He had called a ride and left from a Marriott hotel and was headed to the airport.

“I just want to let you know that I’m calm,” Raja said on Facebook Live on Monday. “I’m not going to hurt myself or anyone else.”

According to the arrest report, detectives found “a metal device and three throwing knives along with a brown box containing what appeared to be a stick of TNT (dynamite) and a battery source.”

The 46-year-old got to the airport early, officials said, and called a woman to pick him up.

The two returned to the woman’s condo at the foot of the Venetian Causeway. An argument ensued, and Raja pulled a knife on the woman, according to police. Raja left the condo, also leaving his luggage in the woman’s car.

When he returned to the airport, Miami-Dade Police were waiting to take him into custody.

“This was great work by the Miami-Dade Police Department as well as our bomb squad unit, our detectives and our special investigation section,” Fallat said. “Right now, our detectives have not just arrested him for this, but they continue to see if there is anything else that appears to have any ties to [this]. Nothing appears to be alarming, but we have charged him accordingly. Again, we can’t express enough to the community: if you do see something suspicious, don’t be alarmed. Pick up that phone and call us.”

Police said Raja, who is from California, was packing luggage with fake bombs inside.

However, the incident involving the suspicious package was not his first run-in with authorities in South Florida.

The 46-year-old documented an encounter in Miami Beach on Jan. 9. Raz Ofer, the building’s owner, called police indicating that he thought Raja may harm himself.

“His behavior was a bit suspicious,” Ofer said. “We approached the tenants staying in the building, and he showed them a big knife, and he said that he wanted to commit suicide. Very smart, but there’s serious mental issues that can make him very dangerous. I was terrified, so it was the right thing to do.”

He was asked to leave the property, but police told him, at the time, he was not a threat to himself or others.

“I have bipolar disorder,” Raja said in the video. “This is what happens when you are discriminated against.”

Raja has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of hoax bombs. His motive remains under investigation.

“We had him here for a few hours interrogating him, and we were able to charge him accordingly,” Fallat said.

The 46-year-old has since appeared in court, where they decided to take him to the hospital for an evaluation.

Vaishalee Raja, his wife, told Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy S. Glazer her husband is mentally ill.

“He has been trying to come home for treatment,” she said. That’s why I booked him that ticket, so he can be healthy again and be the wonderful father he has been to our 7-year-old daughter and great husband to me.”

Raja’s attorney said in court his client was not attempting to flee Florida, but instead, return home for treatment. He also said Raja did not have any priors.

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