Suspect in Hatton Garden heist denies having anything to do with the robbery
The crime is still known as the largest burglary in English legal history and it was planned and executed by four elderly experienced thieves
The suspect in the famous Hatton Garden heist, a man claimed to be "Basil the Ghost", has now pleaded not guilty to being involved in the multi-million pound burglary that took place in 2015.
According to prosecutors, 57-year-old Michael Seed fled from the scene of the crime while the other members of the team were caught by the police.
Almost £200 million worth of gold, cash, and gems were stolen from 73 boxes at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in the diamond district in London.
An industrial drill was used to make a hole into the vault room. Seed was arrested early this year at his flat in Islington, north London.
The prosecutors in the case have alleged that the gold ingots, precious stones, and jewellery that they found in Seed's home came from the heist that took place on Easter Weekend in 2015.
Seed told the court that he is a jeweler by profession. He has been formally charged with conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to convert or transfer criminal property.
Old Bailey sensation! Reformed Genesis found guilty of Hatton Garden heist! pic.twitter.com/iY7ukbUp0z— Danny Kelly (@dannykellywords) January 14, 2016
Seed, who wore glasses and a red T-shirt, appeared at the hearing in the Woolwich Crown Court via video link from the Wandsworth prison where he is currently being held on remand. He entered not guilty for both the charges.
There have been six men so far who have been convicted and jailed for taking part in the heist which is one of the biggest to take place in Britain so far. Three other people have been given suspended sentences for offences related to money-laundering. The trial is set to take place on September 24 and will last for three weeks.
The Hatton Garden Heist
The Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, which is an underground safe deposit facility in the Hatton Garden area of London, was broken into in April 2015. The total worth of all the items that were stolen reaches up to £200 million and the police and press have called this incident the "largest burglary in English legal history".
In what seems like the plot of a film, four elderly experienced thieves plotted and carried out the plan. All four of these men pleaded guilty to the charges that were laid out against them and they received their sentences in March 2016. There were four other men who were tried in court on suspicion of involvement, out of which three were found guilty and one was cleared of all charges.
The crime took place at the time when the Easter Bank Holiday and Passover overlapped. The authorities announced that the underground facility had been burgled on April 7 but the reports that were made based on the CCTV footage showed that the crime took place on April 2.
Burgling the facility was seen as such a significant thing that the investigation was handed over to the Flying Squad which is a branch of the Specialist, Organised & Economic Crime Command within London's Metropolitan Police Service.
At first glance, there was no visible sign of forced entry into the facility. Then it was reported that the burglars had gotten into the premises through a lift shaft, then they drilled through the 50cm thick vault walls using a Hilti DD350 industrial power drill.
Reports from the case started emerging on April 8 with speculations that a major fire in the underground area near Kingsway was what was used as a diversion in the Hatton Garden burglary.
The cause of the fire was later revealed by the London Fire Brigade to be caused by an electric fault and there was no sign of arson.
A CCTV recording of the crime was released by the Daily Mirror even before the police released it to the public. The paper nicknamed the burglars in the video as "Mr Ginger, Mr Strong, Mr Montana, The Gent, The Tall Man and The Old Man".
The police then released pictures of the inside of the vaults on April 22 that showed damage to the lockers caused by the burglary and also released pictures of the holes drilled through the vault walls to get around the main vault door.
The Metropolitan Police announced on May 19 that the nine arrests were made after they started investigating the raid.
Then, on September 1, 2015, the news came out that the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company was going through liquidation. The business had become insolvent because the robbery had left the company in the situation that the "trade dried up".