Great Train Robbery

Largest Bank Robberies

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Below is a list of the largest and most famous bank robberies compared in US Dollars.

Central Bank of Iraq (2003), US $1 billion.

In March 2003, on several occasions beginning on March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, Saddam Hussein & his sons stole nearly US$1 billion from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history.

Approximately $650 million was later found hidden in walls in Saddam Hussein's palace by US troops. It is believed that this was the bulk of the stolen money. The remaining money is currently unaccounted for.

Saddam Hussein & his sons

Knightsbridge Security Deposit / England (1987), US $111 million.

The Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery took place July 12th 1987 in Knightsbridge, England. Two men entered the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre requesting to rent a Safe deposit box. After being shown into the vault, they produced hand guns and subdued the manager and security guards. The thieves then hung a sign on the street level door explaining that the Safe Deposit Centre was temporarily closed, whilst letting in further accomplices.

Police forensic investigators recovered a fingerprint that was traced to the Italian Valerio Viccei. After a period of surveillance, Viccei and several of his accomplices were arrested during a series of coordinated raids August 12th 1987, and later convicted of the crime.

April 19th 2000, during a day release from prison, a gunfight broke out between Viccei, his accomplice and the police, resulting in the death of Viccei Little of the money or jewels were recovered.

Valerio Viccei

Kent Securitas Depot / England(2006), US $92.5 million.

The Securitas depot robbery was a robbery which took place in the early hours of February 22nd 2006, between 01:00 and 02:15 UTC in England, an operation that succeeded in stealing the largest cash amount in British crime history. At least six men, English and North African, abducted and threatened the family of the manager & tied up fourteen staff members.

Following arrests, January 29th 2008, Emir Hysenaj was sentenced to 20 years in prison with an order that he serve a minimum of 10 years. Stuart Royle, Lea Rusha, Jetmir Bucpapa and Roger Coutts were given life sentences with an order they serve a minimum of 15 years.

Since the completion the Trials, Kayenide 'Kane' Patterson, who the police and CPS believed to be a key player in both the robbery and kidnapping, still remains missing, presumably residing in the West Indies with a large quantity of the stolen money.

Kent Securitas Depot

Great Train Robbery / England (1963), US $74 million.

The Great Train Robbery was the name given to a £2.3 million train robbery committed August 8th 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England.

The Royal Mail's Glasgow to London traveling post office (TPO) train was stopped by tampered signals. A 15-member gang, led by Bruce Reynolds and including Ronnie Biggs, Charlie Wilson, Jimmy Hussey, John Wheater, Brian Field, Jimmy White, Tommy Wisbey, Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards, stole £2.3 million in used £1, £5 and £10 notes — the equivalent of £40 million (US $74 million) in 2006.

Thirteen of the gang members were caught after police discovered their fingerprints at their hideout at Leatherslade Farm, near Oakley, Buckinghamshire. The robbers were tried, sentenced and imprisoned. Ronnie Biggs escaped from prison 15 months into his sentence, settling in Melbourne Australia, and later moving to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Charlie Wilson also escaped, living outside Montreal, Canada on Rigaud Mountain. Only when his wife made the mistake of telephoning his parents in England, was Scotland Yard able to track him down.

Great Train Robbery

Banco Central / Brazil (2005), US $69.8 million.

On the weekend of August 6th and August 7th, 2005, a gang of burglars, suspected to be either the Gang of the Tattooed or Primeiro Comando da Capital, tunneled into the Banco Central in Fortaleza. They removed five containers of 50-real notes, with an estimated value of 164,755,150 reais (US $69.8 million, £38.6 million).

On October 20th, the body of the suspected mastermind, Luis Fernando Ribeiro, 26, was found on an isolated road near Camanducaia, 200 miles (320 km) west of Rio de Janeiro. He had been shot seven times and had marks on his wrists as if he had been handcuffed.

Five men were arrested September 28th with about $5.4 million of the money. They told police they had helped dig the tunnel. So far, authorities have recovered more than $7 million, $63 million remains unaccounted for.

Banco Central

Northern Bank / Northern Ireland (2004), US $50 million.

The Northern Bank robbery was carried out by a large, proficient group December 20th 2004. The gang seized £26.5 million in pounds sterling, making it one of the largest bank robberies in British history. The police, and the British and Irish governments, claimed the Provisional IRA was responsible (or had permitted others to undertake the raid), a claim vehemently denied by the Provisional IRA itself and the Sinn Fein political party.

A number of people throughout Northern and Southern Ireland, many with links to the IRA, have been arrested after being caught with some of the loot, amounting to a few million.

Northern Bank

Brinks Mat warehouse / England (1983), US $45 million.

The Brinks Mat Robbery took place November 26th 1983, when six robbers broke into the Brinks Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport, England. The robbers thought they were going to steal £3 million in cash, however, when they arrived, they found ten tonnes of gold bullion (worth £26 million). The gang got into the warehouse thanks to security guard Anthony Black, who was the brother-in-law of the raid's architect Brian Robinson.

Tried at the Old Bailey, Robinson and gang leader Michael McAvoy were each sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for armed robbery. The security guard Black, got six years, serving three.

In 1986, Kenneth Noye, the businessman recruited to recast and sell the gold, was found guilty of conspiracy to handle the Brinks Mat gold, fined £700,000 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Little of the gold has been recovered. People involved in the raid have claimed, anyone wearing gold jewellery bought in the UK after 1983, is probably wearing Brinks Mat.

Brinks Mat warehouse

Dunbar Armored / USA (1997), US $18.9 million.

The Dunbar Armored robbery is the largest cash robbery to have occurred in the United States. It occurred in 1997 at the Dunbar Armored facility in Los Angeles, California.

The robbery was masterminded by Allen Pace, who worked for Dunbar as a regional safety inspector. He recruited five of his childhood friends, and on the night of Friday, September 13th 1997, Pace used his keys to gain admittance to the facility.

The police immediately realized it was an inside job and closely examined Pace, but could find nothing. Eventually, one of the gang members, Eugene Lamar Hill, erred when he gave an unknowing associate a stack of bills still wrapped with the original cash straps.

The associate went to the police and Hill was arrested. Hill soon confessed naming his associates. Allen Pace was arrested and sentenced to twenty-four years in jail. Only a fraction of the money was ever recovered. Some $10 million is still unaccounted for.

Dunbar Armored truck

Lufthansa / USA (1978), US $5.8.

The Lufthansa Heist was planned by Jimmy Burke, an associate of the Lucchese crime family, and carried out by several of his associates. An estimated $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewels were stolen. It all began when bookmaker, Martin Krugman, told Henry Hill (an associate of Jimmy Burke's) about millions of dollars in untraceable money. The money was flown in once a month, money that was exchanged by servicemen and tourists in West Germany, then stored in a vault at Kennedy Airport, New York.

On December 11th, at 3.12 a.m. the gang captured two security guards and a number of workers, forcing them to help in the robbery.

There were a series of gangland murders in the following years over the stolen money and trying to silence potential witnesses. Although Burke was suspected of committing more than 50 murders, he was only convicted of one: the murder of Richard Eaton, a hustler and confidence man.

Burke was serving his time in Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, when he developed lung cancer. He died from this disease April 13th 1996, aged 64. Little of the money has been recovered.

Jimmy Burke

For a substantial list of world wide robberies, visit:: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bank_robbers_and_robberies.

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