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Hatton Garden & # 39; s Basil has to repay £ 6 million or serve more prison term


Michael Seed, also known as Basil the Ghost, was sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in carrying out the 2015 Hatton Garden robbery

The ringleader of the Hatton Garden burglary scheme known as "Basil the Ghost" was ordered to repay nearly £ 6 million or to serve seven additional years in prison.

Michael Seed, 60, was jailed for ten years in March 2019 after being convicted of his role in the conspiracy.

He was found guilty of conspiracy at the Old Bailey to burglar and hide the proceeds of the crime.

Now the gang's mastermind has been ordered to repay nearly £ 6million which, according to prosecutors, was his part in the £ 13.9million robbery.

He and his gang were found to have broken into lockers in an underground vault in Hatton Garden in 2015.

The gang dug into the vault over the Easter holiday weekend before breaking into the boxes and escaping with their massive cargo.

Seed was told earlier today that he will have to repay nearly £ 6 million or spend an additional seven years in jail after a one-day crime proceeds law hearing in Woolwich Crown Court in July.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford of the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad welcomed today's verdict.

He said, “The conviction and conviction of Seed – better known as Basil – has completed one of the longest investigations in the history of the Flying Squad. He was responsible for accessing the Hatton Garden premises and disabling the security systems. He was the only pending suspect on the case until he was convicted last March.

“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. We have always said that the end of the experiment did not mean the end of this investigation for those involved. For many years, specialist financial investigators have worked hard to locate outstanding properties and identify the assets of these defendants.

The seed pictured here is believed to have bypassed the vault's alarm system so his team could raid the vault

The seed pictured here is believed to have bypassed the vault's alarm system so his team could raid the vault

73 boxes were looted during the raid, believed to have grossed nearly £ 14 million for the gang

73 boxes were looted during the raid, believed to have grossed nearly £ 14 million for the gang

& # 39; Proceeds from crime orders have already been served against the other gang members, and through persistence and hard work with colleagues in the Crown Prosecutor we have now received another order against Seed. Crime must not pay off, and this should show how far we will go to ensure that criminals do not get financial benefits from crime. "

Seed, an alarm specialist, is said to have entered the building in London's diamond district with a bunch of keys before defeating the security system.

He was one of two men who climbed into the vault to ransack 73 lockers after the gang of aging criminals drilled through the thick concrete wall on the 2015 Easter holiday weekend.

Seed – who pays no taxes, receives no benefits and rarely uses a bank account – escaped capture for three years before police raided his home in Islington, north London, about two miles from Hatton Garden.

The electronics expert confidently told a jury at Woolwich Crown Court that he was not the man nicknamed "Basil" by the rest of the gang.

Police found gold bars, precious stones and jewelry valued at £ 143,000 in his bedroom.

Brian Reader [80], John & # 39; Kenny & # 39; Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 64, and Terry Perkins, who died in prison at the age of 69, were jailed in 2016.

Seed made three trips overseas after being photographed for the first time in the weeks following the break-in at Hatton Garden when he met Collins by a surveillance team, although the police were not aware of this.

Prosecutor Philip Evans QC suggested Seed, who studied electronics and physics at Nottingham University, may have brought stolen money to Portugal, where Perkins had a vacation rental in the Algarve.

Among those convicted for their part in the robbery were John Collins [left] and Daniel Jones [right]

Among those convicted for their part in the robbery were John Collins [left] and Daniel Jones [right]

Terry Perkins [left] and Brian Reader [right] were also convicted of their involvement in the raid

Terry Perkins [left] and Brian Reader [right] were also convicted of their involvement in the raid

The gang dug through a solid concrete wall into the vault shown

The gang dug through a solid concrete wall into the vault shown

Seed was identified by the Flying Squad in late November 2015, and additional surveillance footage showed him walking around Canary Wharf in April 2016.

It is believed that he melted gold and broke jewelry piece by piece on his bedroom workbench when brought in from a larger supply.

Prosecutors said electronic devices, including an alarm panel and a mobile jammer found in his apartment, were being used for training, suggesting that he may have been wearing BT clothing to gain access to the buildings before the crimes receive.

Philip Evans QC said, 'These two offenses in particular required very specific skills and knowledge to defeat the alarms and security measures on the premises.

"The prosecution suggests that Mr. Seed is one of those people and has the skills and knowledge necessary to assist in the successful execution of these crimes."

Seed claimed he could have been on a family vacation in Cornwall or visited his elderly mother in Cambridge at the time of the break-in at Hatton Garden, and told jurors he was never known as Basil.

"Everyone calls me Basil now," he said. "I will be known as Basil for the rest of my life."