Masterminds: Brink’s-Mat Robbery TV - Tony Brightwell - Britain’s Biggest Heists TV - Darkside of Freemasonry - Underworld: London TV - Heists TV - Diamonds, Gold & Guns TV - Secret History: Brink’s Mat: The Greatest Heist TV - The Krays by Fred Dinenage TV -
1983: The problem was how to get 6,000 pounds of gold out of the warehouse. Masterminds e34: Brink’s-Mat Robbery, truTV
$50,000,000 in gold bullion gone without a trace. The impact would be felt worldwide. (Heists UK: Heathrow Airport & London & Gold) ibid.
In a daring and perfectly orchestrated robbery a gang stole $50,000,000 in gold bars from London’s Brink’s-Mat warehouse. Police didn’t have a single clue who pulled off this staggering heist. But they suspected an inside job. ibid.
Black [inside man] was the brother of Robinson’s [perpetrator] girlfriend. The guard and the gangsta got to know each other well. Black was neither clever nor disciplined. But he did have something Robinson desperately needed: inside information. ibid.
This was an enormous amount of gold. Almost Conquistador proportions. Tony Brightwell, ex-Scotland Yard Flying Squad rozzer
Very quickly we made a connection with a man called Black, who was one of the guards on duty that day. His sister was living with and was the common-law wife of a man called Robinson who was very high up in the criminal underworld of south London, was a suspected armed robber, was an organised criminal of high standing. Tony Brightwell
On the day of the robbery Black had overslept. And panicked that he couldn’t get to the warehouse on time. So he was late arriving for work. And in fact he had met the robbers as they waited to get into the premises. Tony Brightwell
Ruthless in its conception, fearless in its operation, the Brink’s-Mat heist is still the largest bullion robbery in British criminal history. In just fifteen minutes a highly organised south-London gang of armed robbers made off with three tons of gold from the Fort-Knox style warehouse near Heathrow. Britain’s Biggest Heists: The Brink’s-Mat Robbery, Sky 2010
Brink’s-Mat was no ordinary warehouse. It was one of the most secure buildings in Britain, containing three of the world’s toughest safes. To get to them once inside the warehouse it was necessary to pass through locked and alarmed vault doors, using two sets of keys and combinations numbers, then through a gate. One inside the vault the safes could only be opened by a set of keys and combination numbers. ibid.
Whilst Robinson, McAvoy and White were arrested and questioned by the police, the pressure was on detectives to find the missing gold. Seven months after the robbery the police got another breakthrough when a man called Kenneth James Noye was brought to their attention. They were back on the gold trail. ibid.
Ironically, the gold was being sold back to the company it had been stolen from. ibid.
In 1987 Detective Alan Holmes, a Freemason who had joined the Craft while serving at Croydon Police Station, faced the ultimate test of his Masonic loyalty. Holmes was not corrupt but was under great pressure to betray a Masonic colleague. Scotland Yard’s anti-corruption squad CIB2 believed he knew of crooked links between a Masonic Detective Commander and Mason Kenneth Noye, convicted of receiving part of the £26 million’s worth of gold stolen in Britain’s biggest ever robbery – the 1983 Brink’s-Mat job. Unknown to Holmes, CIB2 arranged for him to be secretly recorded as he gossiped to a fellow detective in his Lodge. When Holmes was told he had unknowingly shopped his brother Masons, he became deeply distressed. One morning in his back garden he shot and killed himself. Darkside of Freemasonry III
Technology had become the ultimate gangbusters ... Armed robberies in the ’70s and ’80s prompted banks and security companies to install hundreds of surveillance cameras. In the early 1990s police added ever more in the streets to combat terrorist attacks. Almost 80% of the British government’s Crime Prevention Budget was devoted to public surveillance cameras. Back in the days of the Krays and Richardsons, in the late ’60s, there were approximately 70 closed-circuit cameras in the all of England. By the time Ronnie Kray died of a heart attack in the spring of 1995, London was literally covered in cameras. No combination. No cash. Then the gang made an amazing discovery. They saw pallets on the floor of the warehouse which contained boxes about the size a shoebox and found out they was gold bars in these boxes ... The gang had stumbled across 7,000 gold bars – three tons ready for delivery. The haul is worth a staggering £100,000,000 in today’s money . It was the biggest gold bullion robbery [Brink’s-Mat, London 1983] in British history. McAvoy had pulled off the crime of the century. But the gold was about to give his gang more trouble than it was worth ... Some of the proceeds of the gold were invested in property, including the rebuilding of the docklands, part of the original heartland of organised crime in London. But as the money from the robbery spread out, police began to close in. Detectives discovered Brink’s-Mat guard Anthony Black had a sister who lived with a well-known bank robber Brian Robinson. Underworld: London
On a cold November morning in 1983 an armed gang stole over £26 million’ worth of gold, £0.5 billion in today prices. The raid was so huge that the price of gold across the world shot up. The Brink’s-Mat bullion heist is still the biggest more notorious armed robbery ever to take place within the UK; it’s also one of the most vicious. Heists s1e2: Brink’s-Mat, Channel 5 2017
Six men all armed with automatic weapons storm in. ibid.
76 boxes containing 6,800 gold bars weighing nearly three tons … at today’s gold prices would be a staggering half a billion. ibid.
London 1983: the Brinks-Mat warehouse with three and a half tons of gold inside. At the time the gold was worth nearly $40 million. And the Brinks-Mat heist was called the crime of the century. Diamonds, Gold & Guns, National Geographic 2017
The Brinks-Mat thieves needed to merge their stolen bullion into the river of legitimate and illegitimate gold that moves all over the world every day. ibid.
£26 million’ worth of gold and diamonds were stolen from Heathrow Airport. It was the biggest robbery in British history. Since then three men have been imprisoned for their part in the robbery but the gold was never found. Secret History: Brink’s-Mat: The Greatest Heist, Channel 4 2003
The leader of the gang was Michael McAvoy from south London. ibid.
Noye was to remain in custody until his next charge of handling stolen bullion. ibid.
With McAvoy’s inability to return the stolen gold his 25 year sentence was now looking precisely that – they’d be no early release. ibid.
Those living off Brink’s-Mat gold had begun to think they were untouchable. ibid.
The whole Swiss laundering operation came to light. ibid.
McAvoy – an armed robber who applied his trade in the shadow of legendary villains like Freddie Foreman. Now he was ready to write his own story in the chapter of London’s underworld. November 26th 1983 McAvoy and a gang of six robbers head for a lucrative target: Brink’s-Mat – a storage facility for money and precious metals near Heathrow Airport ... No combination. No cash. Then the gang made an amazing discovery ... It was an incredible stroke of good luck. The gold had been packed for shipment to a customer. The gang had stumbled across 7,000 gold bars – over three tons ready for delivery. The haul is worth a staggering £100,000,000 in today’s money. It was the biggest gold bullion robbery in British history. McAvoy had pulled off the crime of the century. But the gold was about to give his gang more trouble than it was worth ... Some of the proceeds of the gold were invested in property, including the rebuilding of the docklands, part of the original heartland of organised crime in London. But as the money from the robbery spread out, police began to close in. Detectives discovered Brink’s-Mat guard Anthony Black had a sister who lived with a well-known bank robber Brian Robinson. The Krays by Fred Dinenage, CI 2010