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London Bourse Chides Media Speculation

Apr 9, 2015 11:21 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT...  Following the burglary of merchandise in as many as 70 safe deposit boxes at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd. this past weekend, the London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has not been in a position to comment or provide substantiated information, according to a statement released by the bourse today. Furthermore, the LDB stated that the value of stolen goods has not yet been confirmed, so it will not fuel media speculation by commenting in that respect. London's media has placed the value of stolen goods at anywhere from $50 million to $300 million. 

Victoria McKay, the LDB's chief operating officer, said, "Of course we are greatly concerned by the effects of this crime on the industry, as a whole, and our thoughts are with those affected in any way. We do not hold information pertaining to the whereabouts of our members goods so are not in a position to make statements regarding their losses. There is a common misconception that all those in the trade are exceptionally wealthy and will be able to absorb losses. This is simply not the case as there are many people in the trade who earn an everyday living in an industry already squeezed by tough market conditions. Time will only tell what the ongoing effects will be. Once the position is clearer, we may choose to release commentary."

Of greater concern, however, is that London's media has erroneously been reporting that "Hatton Garden traders are moving their goods to the London Diamond Bourse vaults," McKay said. The LDB has contacted the publication concerned to retract that article. "Simply put, the LDB is a trade association that exists to provide support and voluntary governance within the diamond trade in the U.K.," she said. 

The bourse does not have a vault and does not provide any safe deposit services, she explained.  Suggesting otherwise "to the press creates a huge security risk and if I might remind those not accustomed to dealing with the press that incorrect statements put us in the industry all at unnecessary risk," McKay said. 

Police and forensic experts continue their investigation of the well-planned burglary and  dealers are growing increasingly impatient by the lack of information from authorities and the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd., according to numerous quotes in the press. 

The burglars chose the four-day Easter holiday weekend to break into the main building of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd., disable alarms and use construction equipment to tunnel through walls, access elevator shafts and cut into security doors that led to vaults.  On Good Friday, it was alleged that one of the building's alarms sounded, but a security guard who responded did not observe anything unusual and left the premises. On Tuesday morning, when dealers returned to work, the break-in was discovered.


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Tags: diamonds, hatton garden, Heist, Jeff Miller, london, services, trading, vault
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