Where are gangsters from the Brink's-Mat robbery now? | The Sun

ONE of the country's largest heists, the Brink's-Mat robbery sent shockwaves throughout the criminal world.

Dubbed "the crime of the century", the job didn't quite go according to plan, when the gang stumbled across gold bullion that they did not expect to be there.

What happened in the Brink's-Mat robbery?

On November 26, 1982, six armed robbers forced their way into the Brink's-Mat warehouse, the plan was to steal the £3.2m in cash they were expecting to find stored there.

They did not expect to find the Aladdin's cave to contain some £26m in gold bullion and diamonds that they stumbled upon.

Such was the size of the stash, it took the gang some two hours to load all of the gold onto their van.

At 8.30am, one of the security guards alerted the police, but by this stage the gang were long gone.


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The gang were now left with the headache of having to try and get rid of the gold, without causing such a ripple in the underworld that it would alert others to its whereabouts.

It is thought that they smelted the gold down, adding copper to it to hid the purity, enabling them to sell the gold on.

Some have suggested that if you have bought any gold jewellery since 1996, the chances are, you were wearing Brink's-Mat gold.

One thing the heist did reveal to police, was just how sophisticated money laundering techniques were within the criminal underworld in the UK.

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It is believed that the stolen gold was to finance many criminal empires in the years to follow, including the country's booming property market.

Where are the Brink's-Mat robbery gangsters now and what happened to them?

The gang comprised of six members, we look at what happened to them:

Micky McAvoy

Thought by police to be the mastermind of the robbery, Micky McAvoy was arrested ten days after the heist.

He was sentenced to 25 years for part in the Brink's-Mat job in 1984.

McAvoy had tried to strike a deal with the prosecutors in the case when he offered to pay back his share, but by this stage, the money had disappeared.

In 1995, he was ordered by the court to pay back £27,488,299, laying the entire stash his responsibility.

He was released on parole in 2000, after his release, McAvoy moved to Spain where he died in January 2023 after a long battle with cancer.

McAvoy was 71-year-old at the time of his death.

Brian Robinson

It was only in December 1983 that Brian Robinson was arrested, after he was named by the security guard Tony Black.

The "inside man" and security guard on the day of the robbery was none other than the brother-in-law of Robinson.

Brian Robinson was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He was released in 2000, after serving 16 years of his term.

Robinson died in a London nursing home in 2022, following a lengthy illness, he was 78-years-old at the time of his death.

John Palmer

Jeweller and bullion dealer John Palmer, was arrested himself but he argued in court that he was unaware that the gold he was handling was linked to the Brink's-Mat robbery.

He was cleared of all charges against him.

Palmer was arrested in 2001 relating to fraud charges on a timeshare scam where it was thought he made £30m at the misfortune of other.

Sentenced to to eight years in prison, he served half of his term.

In 2007 he was arrested again on fraud charges and this time spent two years in a Spanish prison as a result.

He was shot dead at his home in Essex in June 2015, where he had six bullet holes in him.

It is thought it was a professional "hit".

Kenneth Noye

Police opted to put surveillance on Kenneth Noye for his part in the robbery, where he killed DC John Fordham, stabbing him to death.

Remarkably, he was found not guilty for the murder with the jury acquitting him after deciding he acted in self-defence.

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.

He served seven years of the term and was released in 1994.

Noye would later be convicted of killing a man in a road-rage incident and was to serve 21 years for the murder.

He was released in 2019.

Brian Perry

Perry was convicted for his part in the Brink's-Mat heist, charged with disposing of the stolen gold bullion.

At The Old Bailey, he was sentenced to 9 years in prison for handling stolen goods in 1992.

In 2001, he shot dead outside his minicab office in Bermondsey.

George Francis

The man suspected of handling the stolen gold bullion, George Francis was shot dead outside his courier business in Bermondsey in 2003.

His killer was an underworld villain called John O’Flynn, an ex-associate of the Kray twins, who was suspected to have been involved in the laundering of the gold from the Brink's-Mat robbery also.

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