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  • Posts Tagged ‘TREASURY BILLS’


    Saturday, June 13th, 2020

    The daring heist that was Britain’s biggest robbery is recalled in the sale of a rare £1 million Treasury Bill at Dix Noonan Webb in London on June 24  A knifepoint mugging in broad daylight resulted in the theft of a staggering £292 million in treasury bills. Bought by financial institutions at less than face value and sold back to the government on maturity the secretive system of treasury bills enables the British government to manage short term borrowing. Bills collected by messenger from the Bank of England could be cashed in by whoever held them.

    On May 2, 1990 John Goddard, a 58 year-old messenger with money brokers Sheppards, was mugged by a thief who got away with 301 treasury bills and certificates of deposit. Only the $1 billion theft from the Central Bank of Iraq by one of Saddam Hussein’s sons in 2003 has exceeded this robbery.

    City of London Police and the FBI infiltrated the gang involved in laundering the bills and eventually recovered all but two of them. One man was jailed for his part but Patrick Thomas, the petty criminal from south London believed to have carried out the mugging, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head before he could be charged.
    The system is in place today but it is computerised.  The last bills were produced in September 2003 and one of these comes up at the live online auction by Dix Noonan Webb. Effectively a one million pound note it is on watermarked paper bearing the signature of Andrew Turnbull, then Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and stamped cancelled. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000. The auction will feature 188 Irish banknotes including a rare Munster and Leinster Bank £10 Ploughman’s Note from December 5, 1931 (£2,400-3,000) and a £50 Central Bank of Ireland note from May 1943 (£3,400-4,000).

    UPDATE: THE Treasury Bill sold for £4,400