hatton garden
A police forensics officer emerges from the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd building (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Customers at the burgled jewellery vault in central London have expressed their anger over claims the owner has yet to return from his holiday.

Raiders managed to disable a second floor lift and climb down to the basement of the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit in Holborn to make off with the jewels and gold over the Easter weekend.

Police said the thieves used a specialist Hilti DD350 diamond coring drill to cut through the 6ft (2m) thick vault wall.

It is estimated the gang may have stolen as much as £200m ($292m) worth of goods from around 70 safety deposit boxes.

As police continue the "painstaking" investigation, customers have accused the manager of the Hatton Garden vault of "gross negligence", over reports he has failed to return from holiday following the multi-million pound heist.

Manish Bavishi is said to be on holiday in Sudan with his son and is not due to return until 12 April at the earliest.

His customers are frustrated that the owner of the vault will not return to help out with the investigation or deal with their concerns.

Gerald Landon, 77, a jeweller who kept valuables in the vault, told the Daily Mail: "I've heard he's in Sudan until the end of the week.

"I don't know what on Earth he is doing there. It's gross negligence in my view.

"He should be here, not out there. His customers have no idea what's going on. He should have come back at the first sign of trouble."

Another customer, Felix Stephens, 54, added: "The owner should be here, this is the biggest robbery I can ever think of in London.

"Our company has back-up disks stored in the box and we've still not been able to find out anything."

Metropolitan Police refused to confirm whether they have spoken to Bavishi since the heist nor if they are aware of his whereabouts.

Detective chief inspector Paul Johnson previously described the "chaotic" scene once officers got inside the vault.

"The vault is covered in dust and debris and the floor is strewn with discarded safety deposit boxes and numerous power tools, including an angle grinder, concrete drills and crowbars," he added.

There had been speculation a nearby underground fire which caused disruption to the Holborn area could be linked to the robbery.

Former Flying Squad chief John O'Connor told LBC: "I think that [fire] probably was deliberate. I've never heard of an outage of electricity like that causing a fire that lasted as long as that.

"That seems to me too much of a coincidence."

However, the London Fire Bridge dismissed these suggestions and said the fire was started by an electrical fault in old equipment.