A.K.A The Best Alarm Specialist In London was responsible for disabling the building’s security system and climbing into the vault to loot the safety deposit boxes.
Thursday 1 October 2020 21:35, UK
A member of the Hatton Garden heist gang has been ordered to pay back almost £6m from the raid, or face an extra seven years in prison.
Alarm specialist Michael Seed, known as “Basil”, was the last member of the Hatton Garden group to be put behind bars in March last year, in a conviction which closed one of the longest investigations in the Flying Squad’s history.
Now, Seed has been told by Woolwich Crown Court in London, to pay back £5,997,684.93 in the next three months, or face another seven years in jail, the Metropolitan Police said.
The order follows a proceeds of crime hearing from July.
Another member of the gang, John Collins, saw his sentence extended by seven years after failing to repay £7.6m.
Seed was jailed for 10 years last March, becoming the 10th person to be found guilty in connection with the heist over the Easter weekend in 2015.
It is thought that he let himself in to the building using a set of keys before disabling the alarm system.
He was also one of two men who climbed inside the vault to steal 73 safe deposit boxes, after the gang had drilled through the thick concrete wall.
Seed evaded capture for three years, but the police then raided his Islington flat in March 2018 – around two miles from the scene of the crime.
He denied any involvement, but was convicted of conspiracy to burgle, handle stolen goods, and convert or transfer criminal property.
During the March 2019 sentencing, Judge Christopher Kinch QC said: “Your role was a central one. You were at the heart of the core activities that had to be carried out. You were not just there to fetch and carry. In my judgment this must rank among the worst offences of its type.”
Following Thursday’s ruling, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford of the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad said that Seed had been responsible for accessing the building’s premises and disabling its security systems.
“To date we have recovered just over a third of the property stolen from Hatton Garden, and much of it has already been returned to the victims,” he added.
“We have always said that the end of the trials for those involved did not mark the end of this investigation.
“Over many years specialist financial investigators have been working hard to locate outstanding property and identify the assets of these defendants.”