Hatton Garden mastermind, 60, who clambered into vault ordered to cough up £6m

A Hatton Garden crook has been ordered to pay back almost £6m stole in the infamous raid or face more jail time.

Alarm specialist Michael Seed, known by the nickname Basil, was the last gang member to be put behind bars in March last year.

His conviction closed one of the longest investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad.

‘Basil” has now been told by Woolwich Cron Court he must cough up the eye-watering sum of £5,997,684.93 in the next three months, or face another seven years in the nick.

The 60-year-old’s 10 year sentence was the biggest of his crook pals involved in the now-infamous plot.

The criminal mastermind is not believed to have enough money to even cover the interest on the confiscation order.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS Proceeds of Crime said: “Despite Mr Seed’s protestations of innocence the CPS was able to prove that he was the masked man, and that he and his conspirators took millions of pounds worth of precious stones, gold and jewellery.

“He has now been ordered to pay almost £6million. If Mr Seed fails to pay the money he owes in time, he will face up to seven years in prison.”

Seed was convicted following the Easter weekend raid in 2015.

The gang had drilled holes to access Hatton Garden deposit boxes, with Basil using a set of keys to let himself in and disable the alarm centre.

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He was one of two thieves to climb inside the vault to snatch 73 safe deposit boxes.

The elusive crook then evaded detectives for three years before police raided his Islington flat in March 2018.

He denied any involvement with the scheme but was eventually convicted of conspiracy to burgle, handling stolen goods and converting or transferring criminal property.

Richard Sutton QC, defending, told an earlier hearing that Seed had been living on around the same amount as the state pension, The Mirror reports.

He added: "It does not suggest this is a man living on the proceeds of crime."

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He existed "off-grid" for 30 years, paying no tax and never claiming benefits.

Seed had no car or mobile phone and never used a bank or credit card, paying only in cash.

He lived frugally, dressed in an old jacket and Dr. Martens boots bought from Camden market, and walked miles around London from his home in Islington, favouring canal paths which were barely covered by CCTV.

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."

Fellow raiders Brian Reader, 80, John "Kenny" Collins, 78, Daniel Jones, 64, and Terry Perkins, 69, were jailed in 2016.

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