‘The Gold’ Recap And Ending, Explained: What Happened To The Three Tonnes Of Stolen Gold? 

Neil Forsyth brings the six-part mini-series about the largest robbery of the time, when six armed robbers stole three Tonnes of gold bullion from the Brink’s-Mat warehouse, amounting to £26m. The series talks about the massive chase that the police embarked on to find the ones responsible for the robbery, not to mention the death of one detective. The series surely slows down in several places, and the jagged storytelling leaves a lot to be desired, but the recap of the events as they happened in 1983 should pique the interest of anyone interested in historical events in crime and London. Here’s a compressed recap of the six-part that covers everything important that Forsyth’s tale wanted to tell. 


Spoilers Ahead

‘The Gold’ Season 1: Recap

In 1983, after six armed robbers steal gold bullion worth £26m from the Brink’s-Mat warehouse near London’s Heathrow Airport, Flying Squad detectives DI Nicki Jennings and Tony Brightwell arrive on scene. However, the case is handed over to DCI Brian Boyce, who takes point in the investigation. Meanwhile, the massive amount of loot needs to be disposed of, so the leader of the robbers, Mickey McAvoy, asks Kenneth Noye for help. Noye, a corrupt businessman, has gold trader John Palmer resell the stolen gold into the mainstream market. Elsewhere, Gordon Parry, the dealer from South London, asks the help of the solicitor Edwyn Cooper to launder the gold’s proceeds.


By Episode 2, the Gold Chain is established, thanks to Noye and Palmer, who are to melt the stolen loot and resell it, while Parry and Cooper are tasked with the laundering process. McAvoy has been jailed but wants houses to be bought for his girlfriend as well as his wife, even though Cooper tells him that this is a bad idea – because it’ll draw unwanted attention. Following Boyce’s suggestion, Archie Osborne instructs Brightwell and Jennings to head to Hatton Garden and find out if they’ve sold any smelters recently. Interestingly, Boyce’s idea helps the detectives strike metaphorical gold – they learn that a smelter had indeed been sold, which is to be gathered by the customer party. The detectives follow the suspect’s car till Kent, but by West Kingsdown, they’ve lost track of it. However, all is not lost for the law enforcement officials because Brightwell finds a petty criminal named Brian Reader in the area, and when the original suspects are checked, Noye’s name comes up. To make matters worse for the businessman, it’s also revealed that the West Kingsdown resident has purchased a massive amount of gold. The police now know whom to track. 

After being alerted that Brian Reader has come to Kenneth’s house, the criminal is arrested moments after leaving. Boyce is sure that Kenneth and Reader are in cahoots in the matter – with the businessman storing it and the criminal moving it, and to confirm the suspicions, a tracking device is to be installed in Kenneth’s car. Upon learning that Kenneth’s property is under protection according to the Official Secrets Act, Boyce alerts the detectives about the bunkers that the businessman’s property has, because the DCI suspects the bunkers to be where the stolen gold is being stashed. Kenneth and Reader shall be boarding a train from Reigate Station, so the DCI asks Jennings and her partner to head to the station. John Palmer comes under suspicion when the jewelry store owner’s income multiplies miraculously, and Archie Osbourne arrives in Bristol to learn more. Garth Chappell, a colleague of Palmer, doesn’t want to be in this risky business anymore and tells Palmer to cut him loose, but the jewelry store owner refuses. After an excruciatingly long-drawn cat-and-mouse chase that had little to do with the actual story, Garth and Kenneth are arrested by the detectives, but Palmer is still absconding.


While John Palmer is enjoying a holiday, detective John Fordham’s death angers the detectives, who want vengeance, but Boyce assures them that Kenneth Noye, Fordham’s murderer, will pay, before adding that they shall discover the rest of the stolen gold along with Palmer. Even though 11 gold bars are found on Kenneth’s patio, they don’t have serial numbers, so Boyce asks the policemen to keep digging. While Boyce tries to get a confession out of a non-cooperating Kenneth, Jennings and Brightwell want information from Sam, a bank manager in Bristol, but they want a court order before he provides anything.

While the detectives are trying to pin down the money trail, DI Neville Carter approaches Boyce and says he can help the latter get Noye to confess because Carter shares a rapport with the businessman. Palmer is making a fuss about the police wanting to talk to him over Fordham’s death when he learns that a BBC reporter named Kate Eddie wants to interview him. Meanwhile, Jennings informs Boyce that the perpetrators can be arrested by following the money trail because all the notes have an A24 serial number. Although the money is found at every other suspect’s place, none is found on Kenneth, who goes on trial. After a long process, he’s declared not guilty of murder and is acquitted, but Boyce immediately arrests him for handling stolen goods. Palmer is arrested when the evidence piles up against him.


Boyce wants Palmer to confess that he smelted the gold and sold it back into the system, but the illiterate jewelry store owner says that the entire system is corrupted. Running out of options, Boyce accosts Edwyn Cooper, who’s in police custody, when he’s called away to Scotland Yard, where the superintendents inform Boyce that Noye’s lawyers have brought down charges against the DCI. Boyce admits that he knows the risks because he’s taking on more than just robbers; he’s taking on entire systems that are dangerous and powerful, so risks are bound to follow. Boyce asks his underlings to distract the pressure towards Noye while he’s being investigated and asks to be informed of everything Cooper says. Brightwell and Jennings learn the entire process of money laundering that used to be carried out from Liechtenstein and how it could make some people extremely wealthy unless the detectives moved fast.

Upon being guilt-tripped for Fordham’s death, Cooper confesses that his associate, Moyet, named the account and led the money laundering. Palmer pleads not guilty in court, while Cooper’s solicitor, Jim Clark, calls Boyce and asks him to meet him for a drink that evening at the Carleton Club. At the club, Clark offers the name of a colleague whom Boyce can inform about the material the police have on Cooper and his associates, but the evening turns sour and they part ways. Brightwell is offered a bribe (which he refuses) while Cooper’s wife is threatened.


The Liechtenstein account comes back empty, so Cooper offers locations of the properties that the accused had purchased. Learning of the threat, however, he changes his minds and decides not to help, so Boyce sends him to jail to reconsider his decision. Palmer provides a convincing story of how he was tricked into everything and is declared not guilty. Cooper talks to Parry about withdrawing the support he was providing the police, and the call is traced, revealing Parry’s location in Spain. After Boyce is questioned by Noye’s lawyers, the man himself admits that he’s a massively wealthy smuggler but claims that he didn’t do the Brink’s-Mat robbery. The case comes to a close, and the task force is called off. The jury comes back, and the members responsible for armed robbery get 25 years in prison, the ones responsible for handling stolen gold get 10 years, and Noye is found guilty of all the charges and sentenced to 14 years. Jennings and Brighwell discover that Noye never had the full three Tonnes, ever, and the robbers had taken half of it right at the start. The work is not over, and the team gets together yet again to start with the six men who did the robbery to find the rest of the gold.

‘The Gold’ Ending Explained – What Happened To The Three Tonnes Of Stolen Gold? 

One of the greatest robberies of the 20th century was possible because an entire portion of London got rich off of it and protected the most powerful of the accused. Men like Kenneth Noye, who lorded their wealth over the have-nots, forgot the power of the jury, which earned him 14 years in prison. Every known associate of Noye faced sentences because they became too reckless with their crimes, while John Palmer’s careful attitude saved him from going inside, but he ruined his marriage.


The mystery remained however, because only one and a half Tonnes of gold had been recovered of the 3 Tonnes. Thus, the detectives Jennings and Brightwell put their minds into it again, until they discovered that Edwyn Cooper had mentioned that their Swiss accounts received £13m from British banks, which raised the question, – what happened to the rest of the money? Boyce asked the same question to Noye, who took it in his stride to never mention what became of it. The detectives deduced that the three Tonnes never reached the businessmen, and the armed robbers took half of it themselves, and it’s back to the drawing board again. The detectives put the task force back and start again, until they’ve nabbed all the people responsible and recovered all of the stolen gold.

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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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