UK

Hatton Garden raid: Vault owner 'not contacted by police'

Mahendra Bavishi

The director of Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd has not been contacted by police investigating the Easter vault raid, he has told the BBC.

Mahendra Bavishi, who is in Sudan, said he was willing to speak to officers but so far had not been involved with the inquiries.

Mr Bavishi said he had "no clue" if the multi-million-pound robbery could have been an inside job.

Scotland Yard said it had spoken only to relevant people in the UK.

A £20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang responsible for the central London theft, in which the contents of 56 safe deposit boxes were taken.

The gang clambered down a lift shaft and drilled through a concrete wall before making off with the valuables.

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Media captionMahendra Bavshi: "Everything was fitted with CCTV cameras... the business is ruined"

Mr Bavishi admitted it was concerning that the thieves were so well informed.

"You know the way they entered is really surprising because if there is any vibration or even if somebody enters, if somebody tries to cut anything, all the sensors were fitted," he said.

"I don't know how they got the information," he said.

He said both the inside of the vault and the outer passageway were covered by CCTV and sensors and he was "puzzled and surprised" how they had managed to get past all the security measures and the guard .

Image copyright PA

Mr Bavishi said he and his son Manish - who runs the business - heard the news of the heist while they were on a visit to China.

He said his son returned to London to help the police with their inquiries and try to contact the safety deposit box owners and he had not been able to contact him since because he was busy sorting out the business and dealing with the police.

"He is very busy," he said.

"He has been asking people to collect their belongings because the safe is not safe any more."

He added: "I couldn't speak with him but his wife told me he was there at Hatton Garden."

He said they did not know what was inside the safety deposit boxes as they did not ask customers or keep that information on record.

"We have lost all the business, my son's effort of at least seven or eight years," he said.

"But definitely we hope to just bear it. It is not something that you can change. This is our fate unfortunately."

Declan Lawn presents Britain's Biggest Diamond Heist? The Inside Story on Sunday on BBC Two at 22.00 BST. You can catch up with the iPlayer

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