FitzGerald Consulting was recently appointed to adjust a multi-million dollar insurance claim relating to a major bullion robbery in Hatton Garden in April of this year.
The sensational heist took place over the Easter Weekend and is one of the biggest of its kind in British history. The robbers emptied as many as 73 safe deposit boxes in the underground Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, located in London’s ‘Diamond District’, and escaped with many million pounds worth of precious jewellery, bullion and other valuables. Nine men have been charged with the robbery and are awaiting trial.
The robbery was a highly sophisticated and meticulously planned job, managing to breach the security at what is an extremely well-guarded facility in London’s wealthy Hatton Garden area. The nine men reportedly descended into the vault through a lift-shaft late on April 2, shortly after the facility was locked for the Easter Weekend. The group then proceeded to drill through the thick 50cm walls of the vault with a Hilti DD350 industrial power drill. They drove away from the building three days later, early on the morning of April 5, with dozens of bags filled with millions of pounds worth of valuables.
The robbery prompted a huge police investigation, which was carried out by the Flying Squad, a special branch of the London Metropolitan Police Service. A video later released by an English tabloid newspaper showed CCTV footage of the men, aged between 48 and 76, entering the vault in high-vis jackets on the night of April 2. The newspaper gives the men nicknames such as Mr. Ginger and Mr. Strong in reference to the film Reservoir Dogs.
The Hatton Garden Robbery is arguably the most spectacular and most high-profile heist in British history, and certainly the biggest bullion theft since the infamous Brinks-MAT Robbery in 1983, where £26 million worth of precious jewellery was stolen from the Brinks-MAT warehouse at Heathrow Airport. In the 20 years since that robbery, almost 20 people connected with it have been killed in gang-related violence and there are fears that similar levels of violence will follow this heist. There are links between the two cases, with one of the Hatton Garden suspects reportedly involved in laundering the Brinks-MAT proceeds, and the recent murder of John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer – believed by many to be involved in the 1983 robbery – being treated by police as suspicious.