Brinks is known for their high level of professionalizing when it comes to the security business. Their armored trucks with armed guards make deliveries all over the world. This includes transporting large amounts of cash, gold, and other valuables under tight security. They bank on the fact that their customers feel secure in their hands.
This feeling of security seems to be in question as a recent report points to the fact that Brinks recently made a quiet theft report that would make a loud boom in the market. It seems at some point on December 6, 2017; someone walked away with $11 million in gold that was trusted to Brinks. The missing shipment was made internationally and is shroud in mystery.
There are few details about the heist being released since they are still investigating. The customer that owned the gold being transferred between locations has been notified of the issue. They have been paid for the lost gold as per the Brinks policy.
When Brinks made the theft a matter of public record, they were quick to point out the fact that the customer has already been paid for the missing gold. They also made a note of the fact that authorities are still looking to recover the missing gold and if recovered it would be returned.
For many companies, having to take a loss of $11 million is a big deal. This does not seem to be the case with Brinks as the theft did not have much of an impact on their overall profit for the year. According to a recent report about the robbery:
“The good news is that despite the $11MM charge, Brinks won’t suffer too much…the company’s 2017 non-GAAP operating profit is expected to be approximately $280 million, an increase of 30% over 2016, if at the low end of its prior guidance range of $280 million to $290 million.”
For the average person, losing $11 million in gold is unthinkable. That being said, this robbery does not even make it to the top ten for the most significant gold thefts of all-time. It only makes it to the 12th spot as we rank the biggest gold heists.
The missing $11 million in gold suddenly becomes almost irrelevant when compared to the most significant heist of all time, which occurred in China in 1937. At the time, China was one of the biggest gold producers in the world. They had a massive reserve of gold that Japan helped themselves to when they invaded in 1937. China lost 6,600 tonnes of gold at the hands of Japan. They valued the haul at $275,000,000,000.00 in U.S. dollars.
The second and third largest gold heist is also tied to times of war or invasions. In Nazi Germany, it is estimated that their looting costs Germans, Czechs, and Austrians upwards of $43 billion in gold alone. This equated to about 1,038 tonnes. Similiar looting occurred in 2014 in Iraq via both ISIS and the Islamic State of Iraq. They managed to take $429 million in gold from Mosul’s central bank.
Looting also played a significant role in the fourth biggest gold heist in history, which occurred at the hands of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO blasted their way into a vault at the British Bank of the Middle East. The bank as in Beirut and ended up delivering $296 million in gold.
Theft of the precious metal does not only happen at banks or via armored car robberies. The fifth ranks gold heist was an inside job, deep inside the earth in a mine. In 2014, a total of $186 million was taken by 15 miners working in the Sibanye Gold Mine in Carletonville, South Africa. They simply tucked large amounts of a sand-like form of gold into their work overalls and left.
A total of $80 million in gold coins is the focus of the sixth biggest gold heist in history. There is a large dispute as to who stole these coins as they went missing decades before the U.S. government took them back. There are some that say the government was the robber in this case as they asked to examine the coins that an American family recovered from a safe deposit box. The cones were turned over to the local mint to be authenticated and never returned to the family. They were said to be stolen, but the family says the government stole them. A judge in 2012 ruled that the government was correct in taking them.
The seventh spot on the list of gold robberies dates back the days of pirates. A group of 16th century Spanish pirates looted 154 tonnes of gold from Americans traveling overseas. The modern-day gold heists via a business like Brinks does not hit the list of the biggest robberies until the eighth spot via the 1983 robbery of a Brinks-Mat in London. Thieves made off with $40 million in gold as part of a gang attack.