Hatton Garden raider ‘Basil’ faces order to pay back nearly £6m

30 07月
作者:admin|分类:opinion|标签:UK News tendendo

One of the Hatton Garden raiders, known as Basil, is being asked to pay back nearly £6million from the £13.6m heist, a court has been told.

Michael Seed should face a confiscation order of £5.9 million, which prosecutors say is available in hidden assets and non-returnable items from the raid, a proceeds of crime hearing at London’s Woolwich Crown Court was told.

The 59-year-old alarm specialist was jailed for 10 years in March 2019 after becoming the 10th person to be convicted in connection with the 2015 Easter Bank Holiday weekend heist.

Seed is believed to have let himself into the building in London’s diamond district using a set of keys, before defeating the security system.

He was one of two men who climbed into the vault to loot 73 safe deposit boxes after the gang of veteran criminals drilled through a thick concrete wall.

Seed evaded capture for three years before police raided his flat in Islington, north London – around two miles from Hatton Garden – in March 2018.

He denied any involvement in the heist, but was found guilty of conspiring to burgle, handle stolen goods and convert or transfer criminal property.

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Judge Christopher Kinch QC, during the March 2019 sentencing, told Seed: “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.”

Prosecutor Philip Evans QC told the confiscation hearing that the court has to decide if Seed had a criminal lifestyle, what the benefit was and whether he gained from it.

Mr Evans said: “There is simply no supporting evidence of the defendant’s assertion that he was running a jewellery business.”

He said Seed has not declared tax on any earnings, or “produced to date a single” invoice, business receipt, bank transfer or name of a customer or anything that backs up his claim he was running a jewellery business.

Richard Sutton QC, defending, said Seed had been living a “fairly modest lifestyle” which could have been funded by small business.

Seed’s lack of paperwork including tax payments is something that would lead to a financial penalty and not a prosecution, the court heard.

During his trial, Seed told jurors he was not the man nicknamed Basil by the rest of the gang.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle Hatton Garden Safe Deposit and conspiracy to handle the proceeds after £143,000 of gold ingots, gems and jewellery was found in his bedroom.

Of the £13.6m of property stolen in the heist, only around £4.5m – roughly a third – has been recovered by police.

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Seed’s fellow Hatton Garden ringleaders Brian Reader, 80, John “Kenny” Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 64, and Terry Perkins, who died in prison last year aged 69, were all jailed in 2016.

Detectives believe the gang could have been operating undetected for decades before they were caught, but cannot link them to any other crimes.

Seed travelled abroad three times after he was first photographed meeting Collins by a surveillance team in the weeks after the Hatton Garden burglary, while he was unknown to police.

The prosecution at his trial suggested Seed, who studied electronics and physics at Nottingham University, may have taken stolen cash to Portugal, where Perkins had a holiday flat on the Algarve.

Seed was identified by the Flying Squad at the end of November 2015 and further surveillance footage captured him walking around Canary Wharf in April 2016.

But detectives waited until March 2018 to strike, catching Seed red-handed with more than 1,000 items stolen in the Hatton Garden heist.

He is believed to have been melting down gold and breaking up jewellery on his bedroom workbench bit by bit as it was brought in from a bigger stash.

Seed claimed he could have been on a family holiday in Cornwall or visiting his elderly mother in Cambridge at the time of the Hatton Garden raid.

The ruling on the confiscation order was reserved to a date yet to be fixed.

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