On a sunny spring morning in May 1990, a bank courier two minutes after leaving the Bank of England was robbed at knifepoint of a briefcase containing what The Times reported was £292 million in bearer bonds.
The true sum was £427 million – according to Keith Cheeseman, a notorious fraudster who counted them on the night of the crime.
The heist was so large it changed the way banks did business and drew in an international network of arms dealers and terrorists, the mafia, the IRA and Colombian drugs king Pablo Escobar.
During the next 18 months, two gangland figures were murdered – both shot in the head. More than eighty people across the globe were arrested. Few were charged and those brought to court walked free ‘to protect a source.’
British Police and the FBI recovered all but two of the stolen bearer bonds and never admitted that the haul was £427 million, not £292 million.
What happened to the missing millions? Who was the informer who led the police to track down the bonds? Was there a cover up to protect high-placed figures behind the crime?
Extradited to the United States, Keith Cheeseman was the only man jailed for the robbery. He has done his time and reveals for the first time in The Big One, the true story of the biggest robbery in British history.
Clifford Thurlow has lived all over the world and has worked as a gem stone dealer, a foreign correspondent for The Observer in Athens and as one of the team translating works from Tibetan into English for the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, where he wrote his first book, Stories from Beyond the Clouds, an anthology of Tibetan folk stories.
Thurlow is known as 'one of the best ghostwriters in the UK,' according to Penny Wark of The Times. His recent books are: Typhoon: The Inside Story of a Fighter Squadron at War, for Wing Commander Mike Sutton (Penguin, 2021); Operat...
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When Keith Cheeseman had a trial for Dunstable Town as a striker, he didn't get a place in the team. So, he bought the club. He brought soccer legend George Best out of retirement and entered the columns of the satirical magazine Private Eye that wanted to know how come the boss of Dunstable Town was driving a Lamborghini? The answer: Keith was taking out hundreds of thousands of pounds in loans against false accounts.
Keith got sent away for six years. He honed his skills as a fraudster behind bars and was out in three due to being a gentleman and keeping the Governor of Wormwood Scrubs c...
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