He settled his account, with interest, after becoming involved in a series of crimes to pay off his debts. Hugh Bonneville plays DCI Brian Boyce, a slightly eccentric copper and the Downton Abbey star spent some time with him to wrung information about his attitude towards policing and his recollection of the robbery. And with a new generation of gangsters looking for it, police believe the death toll will rise. At the resulting trial, the jury found Noye not guilty of murder on the grounds of self-defence.
However the ARA accused him laundering the proceeds of drug smuggling through the buying and selling of houses and land. Noye – probably the most famous of all the villains involved in the story – stabbed a policeman to death in his garden in the mid-80s while under surveillance. Remarkably, he was acquitted but still convicted for his part in the robbery. While out on license in 1996, he was involved in a road rage incident and murdered a 21-year-old motorist. A number of murders took place after the release of Robinson and McAvoy, who never received their cut of the gold. Inside man Tony Black was sentenced to six years for his role in the robbery.
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The curse has hit many in the criminal underworld including Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson, who was gunned down at his Marbella home after £3million of Brink’s-Mat money went missing in a drug deal. He confessed that he had provided information and a duplicate key, and named three of the robbers, McAvoy, his brother-in-law Robinson, and a man called Tony White. Nearly three decades later and upwards of £20 million in bullion remains unrecovered.
Marshall stunned detectives by alleging that he’d hacked up four other bodies while working for Terry Adams – one of the men responsible for best barcode software for small business the Brink’s-Mat gold. From 1994 to 1997, five more gangland deaths were attributed in some way to Brink’s-Mat. In April 1990, he paid the price when a young British hood knocked on the front door of his hacienda north of Marbella and shot Wilson and his pet husky dog before coolly riding off down the hill on a yellow bicycle. Noye was told that they almost had enough evidence to implicate him in a huge drug deal.
Rather than disappear in the days following the robbery, McAvoy – a Bermondsey-born crook and the leader of the gang – told the others to make sure they were seen around their usual haunts. The so-called “Curse of Brink’s-Mat” or “Curse of the Brink’s-Mat millions” refers to the shooting deaths of several men who were allegedly involved. These deaths were thought by members of the London criminal underworld to be related to laundering of the gold. Michael Relton, Kathleen McAvoyIn July 1988, Michael Relton was convicted of helping launder proceeds and jailed for 12 years. Kathleen McAvoy was convicted of conspiring to handle the stolen gold but given an 18-month suspended jail sentence. Kenneth Noye, Garth Chappell, Brian Reader, Matteo ConstantinoIn 1986, Noye was found guilty of conspiracy to handle the Brink’s-Mat gold, fined £500,000, plus £200,000 costs, and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
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No one within the robbers’ immediate circle had any experience of dealing with gold – the gang had been expecting to find only cash – so the call for help was put out far and wide. It was just after 6.40am on 26 November 1983 that six armed men burst into the Heathrow depot of the security company Brink’s-Mat. The robbers disabled the sophisticated security system, tied up the guards and doused them with petrol.
Parry was arrested in Fuengirola, Spain in 1989 and returned to the UK a year later and charged with handling over £16 million. He went on trial with, among others, Perry, McAvoy’s first wife Jacqueline, Patrick Clark, and Jean Savage in 1991. Perry was accused of laundering £7.5 million, Clark and his son £4.5 million and Savage £2.5 million.
Various figures – on both sides of the law – are still alive to assist in the telling of their story also. JOEY WILKINS – Vice king who grassed on Noye died mysteriously in 2007 after an apparent robbery on the Costa del Sol. ALAN DECABRAL – Witness due to give evidence against Noye ended up peppered with bullets in a car park in Ashford, Kent, in 2000. GEORGE FRANCIS – Publican who handled gold, shot in Bermondsey in 2003. STEPHEN CAMERON – Stabbed to death by Kenneth Noye in 1996 road rage incident on the M25.
Micky McAvoy, Brian RobinsonTried at the Old Bailey in December 1984, McAvoy and Robinson were sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for armed robbery. Nine people linked to the raid have been murdered and Lawson himself survived a murder attempt. Hooded gunmen burst through the doors of his Kent pub and shot him at close range 18 years ago. They shot Mr Francis four times in his car as he arrived at his south London haulage firm early one morning in May 2003. In 1985, unable to pay the remainder of the fee for having the jury nobbled, Francis was shot in the shoulder close to the pub he ran in the Kent village of Hever.
What happened to George Francis?
“How Mossack Fonseca helped hide millions from Britain’s biggest gold bullion robbery”. In 1990, the former treasurer of the Great Train Robbery, Charlie Wilson, had moved to Marbella, Spain, where he was suspected of being involved in drug smuggling. Engaged to launder some of the proceeds from the Brink’s-Mat robbery, he lost the investors’ £3 million. Under Parry’s direction millions of pounds were put through the resulting Feberion and other front companies via banks in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Jersey and the Isle of Man. A man identified as depositing £500,000 in cash to the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank is thought to have been notorious armed robber David Moore.
- His killer is believed to have lain in wait for Francis’s green Rover 75 to come into view.
- One of the problems with the gold was that its purity would quickly arouse suspicion if attempts were made to sell it to legitimate traders.
- One of them had his trousers pulled down and petrol poured in his lap.
- Some of the gold was then smelted and sold through a Hatton Garden jeweller called Solly Nahome.
There have been several other deaths linked to the robbery or people involved, including that of suspected Brink’s gang member George Francis, who was shot in 2003. Fans have been raving about new BBC drama The Gold, which follows the story of six robbers who found a vault full of gold bullion. At the time he was killed, he was facing charges of fraud, money laundering and firearm possession in Spain. In 2001, he was convicted of fraud in relation to a timeshare scheme and sentenced to eight years in prison. Palmer reportedly conned 20,000 people out of a total of £30 million.
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Specially converted containers were sent to a shoe factory in Pakistan, where millions of pounds of cannabis were hidden by legitimate goods and shipped back to the UK. Francis and other members of the gang began living the good life, buying cars, jewellery and making a show of lighting their cigars with £20 notes in south London pubs. Others who handled the gold but managed to escape prosecution have also ended up behind bars.
https://bookkeeping-reviews.com/ Perry, who ran a minicab agency in east London, enlisted the help of petty criminal Kenneth Noye who in turn brought in John Palmer, the owner of a Bristol-based gold dealership. Noye knew about smelting gold and came up with the idea of introducing copper into the process, altering the gold’s carat rating and effectively making it untraceable. Within months the trio had pocketed in the region of £10 million. Neither man had been secretive about their plans in the build-up to the heist, putting the word out far and wide they needed a couple ‘sensible lads’ to assist them on an inside job. Nor did either man lie low after the robbery, choosing instead to elevate their surroundings quite dramatically.
By this time, police believed that at least half the gold had been smelted and sold back to legitimate dealers, including Johnson Matthey, to whom, ironically, it belonged in the first place. After Fordham’s death, his colleagues discovered a hugely significant piece of evidence linking Noye and Reader to the Brink’s-Mat case. Lying in a shallow gully beside the garage wall, were 11 gold bars wrapped in red-and-white cloth. The sheer size of the Brink’s-Mat haul of gold bullion had created a huge problem because the gang needed a conduit through which the gold could travel. It had to be smelted, disguised and sold back into the gold industry before it could be turned into cash.
It was then that the gang’s attention was drawn to a pile of grey shoe boxes on the floor — each of them was filled with gold ingots, which they swarmed over. Former soldier Black let the masked gang into the warehouse just after 6.30am that November morning as five guards were preparing to deliver 6,800 gold ingots for a flight to the Far East. Robinson had assembled the premier division team of six South London robbers for the Brink’s-Mat heist. Those entrusted to mind the gold stitched up Robinson — nicknamed “The Colonel” — and fellow ringleader Micky McAvoy, who were later jailed for 25 years for the raid. Their van eventually started, but at least three murders could have been prevented if the gold had been found there and then. If passing police had looked closer early that Saturday morning on November 26, 1983, they would have noticed the van was weighted down below its wheel arches — with three tons of gold.
Despite the three year attempt to question him, his case was thrown out of court after just 25 seconds due to insufficient evidence. The shooting of George Francis last Wednesday morning outside the office of his Bermondsey courier business is the latest murder linked to the Brink’s-Mat raid. Francis arrived early for work, as he always did, to meet the first trucks arriving from the Continent.
Mr Francis is believed to have helped dispose of a large part of the Brinks-Mat gold bullion heist in 1983. He would later be convicted for his part in the robbery, for conspiracy to handle the stolen gold and sentenced to 14 years in prison. At that time, Robinson was a 40-year-old career criminal who had served several prison sentences and was on a Flying Squad list of London’s 20 most prolific armed robbers.
Noye claimed that he had been attacked and killed Fordham in self defence and at the resulting trial, the jury found him not guilty of murder. Brian Reader was also at the property at the time and put on trial for murder but was acquitted. Led by Brian Robinson and Mickey McAvoy, the men broke into a warehouse not far from Heathrow, expecting to find around £3 million in cash in a safe. Instead what they found was £26 million worth of gold and diamonds which is roughly the equivalent to £93 million in 2023 money, which would make it the biggest robbery in British history. It’s the largest gold heist in British history, the stuff of legend that has earned it the epithet of the ‘robbery of the century’. However, the 1983 Brink’s-Mat Robbery left in its wake a long bloody trail of reprisal killings that spanned decades.