(There is a sound recording of this talk at the bottom of the page.)
After our AGM on 10 November ex-detective Ian Brown presented an illustrated talk about the Brink’s Mat gold bullion robbery.
The crime took place on 23 November 1983 and at the time was the largest value robbery in the UK: the haul included three tons of gold, which today would be worth about £150 million. The armed criminals persuaded a security guard, Anthony Black, at the warehouse to give them information about the consignment, which they expected to consist of diamonds, jewellery and bonds worth much less! They did not know that the gold bullion was there.
Ian, a detective involved in the case, gave a fascinating account, with undertones of wry humour, of how the criminals were eventually caught and how some of the gold was recovered. His informative and detailed story included covert surveillance videos, interviews and car chases by undercover police – one of whom was tragically killed – as they tried to track down the perpetrators and the new £50 notes.
Ian also alluded to the occasional mistakes – such as declining to install a tracking device because of expense – and lucky breaks involved in solving the case. He explained that that the main problem for the criminals was converting the gold bars into liquid cash anonymously. He concluded that some people in the audience could possibly possess items made from the gold taken in the robbery.
Photograph and review by Robert Edmondson
Click the Play ▸ icon below to hear the recording.