Re... Missing Gold Bullion...

british hazel
26th March 2010, 00:51
Hello There...

Can anyone please tell me about the incident concerning a shipment of Gold Bullion on one of the Union Castle Boats... Which one was it??? also I heard that the people involved made a deck out of it... and painted it... Is this correct... I was on the Franconia at the time...

Cheers Dave...

non descript
26th March 2010, 01:09
Dave, the ship was CAPETOWN CASTLE (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=348&dat=19650206&id=WaUjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sTUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7065,2622629) and this text below is taken from the site here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=33042)

Midway we met up with the "RMMV CapeTown Castle". It was about dusk on a beautiful evening with a red sky in the west and near smooth seas. We passed each other at about a thousand yards distance, they to our west and we hooted each other as everybody crowded the ships' rails. We were to learn later that our sister ship had suffered a major theft aboard at about the time we passed her.

Our ships were also unique in that they were a mix of cargo and passenger ship. This meant that we had seven large holds filled with freezer or general cargo that occupied much of the interior of the ship and thus we had fewer passenger cabins than normal and hence more passenger deck space per person than most other liners. Our major cargo going north was meat or fruit from the Cape in the freezers and Gold from goldfields in the Transvaal, destined for the Bank of England. The gold was normally stored in special vaults in a forward hold . On that trip the gold cargo was greater than normal and a special compartment had been constructed to hold the excess, next to the normal vaults in the same forward hold. (On another ship a year later I relieved the Purser for an hour while he lunched and I myself supervised and recorded the loading of the gold.)

During the passage from Cape Town, a couple of the crew had discovered that ventilation shafts into this temporary area had not been blocked off. They used them to enter the cages and steal ten boxes of the gold bullion, in the standard bars two to a box, valued at about 100,000 but many times that amount today. Gold was worth $35US an ounce back then. The loss was discovered when the ship unloaded in Southampton but for months no trace could be found of the gold.

The entire ship was searched many times before she sailed as usual for Cape Town two weeks later. They had no clues or suspects. Scotland Yard had decided that it was an inside job and that the people responsible must have left the bullion untouched, hidden on board. A strict watch was maintained over the next number of months, probably by undercover officers on the crew and eventually were rewarded when the thieves did make their move. An attempt was made to sell a few bars in Durban. The rest of the gold was discovered concreted into the base of a sand filled container on deck near the stern and was ultimately recovered and returned to the bank. Two seamen were sentenced later to ten years in jail.

british hazel
26th March 2010, 01:30
Hello There Tonga, Welcome Aboard...

First many thanks for the information which you have managed to find, concerning the missing Gold Bullion... I often wondered about this incident, whether there was any truth in what I heard at the time... It has taken all this time to find out... I do appreciate your efforts on my behalf...

All The Best Tonga... Well... I had better sling my hook now...

Cheers And Thank You... Dave





Dave, the ship was CAPETOWN CASTLE (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=348&dat=19650206&id=WaUjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sTUDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7065,2622629) and this text below is taken from the site here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=33042)

Midway we met up with the "RMMV CapeTown Castle". It was about dusk on a beautiful evening with a red sky in the west and near smooth seas. We passed each other at about a thousand yards distance, they to our west and we hooted each other as everybody crowded the ships' rails. We were to learn later that our sister ship had suffered a major theft aboard at about the time we passed her.

Our ships were also unique in that they were a mix of cargo and passenger ship. This meant that we had seven large holds filled with freezer or general cargo that occupied much of the interior of the ship and thus we had fewer passenger cabins than normal and hence more passenger deck space per person than most other liners. Our major cargo going north was meat or fruit from the Cape in the freezers and Gold from goldfields in the Transvaal, destined for the Bank of England. The gold was normally stored in special vaults in a forward hold . On that trip the gold cargo was greater than normal and a special compartment had been constructed to hold the excess, next to the normal vaults in the same forward hold. (On another ship a year later I relieved the Purser for an hour while he lunched and I myself supervised and recorded the loading of the gold.)

During the passage from Cape Town, a couple of the crew had discovered that ventilation shafts into this temporary area had not been blocked off. They used them to enter the cages and steal ten boxes of the gold bullion, in the standard bars two to a box, valued at about 100,000 but many times that amount today. Gold was worth $35US an ounce back then. The loss was discovered when the ship unloaded in Southampton but for months no trace could be found of the gold.

The entire ship was searched many times before she sailed as usual for Cape Town two weeks later. They had no clues or suspects. Scotland Yard had decided that it was an inside job and that the people responsible must have left the bullion untouched, hidden on board. A strict watch was maintained over the next number of months, probably by undercover officers on the crew and eventually were rewarded when the thieves did make their move. An attempt was made to sell a few bars in Durban. The rest of the gold was discovered concreted into the base of a sand filled container on deck near the stern and was ultimately recovered and returned to the bank. Two seamen were sentenced later to ten years in jail.

non descript
26th March 2010, 09:27
Dave,
There is an unsubstantiated rumour that the bullion is actual hidden on the platform of this station if you look closely, the yellow line is indeed a little golden.. (*))

NINJA
26th March 2010, 10:07
When I saw the headline I thought it was about all the gold a certain minister in Goverment mislaid a few years ago which would have been worth a lot of money now.

NoMoss
26th March 2010, 10:31
There is a first-hand account of this in Sea Breezes, June 2008 written by Capt Walker who was third officer on the ship at the time.

british hazel
26th March 2010, 15:27
"Hello there Tonga".....

Wow..... I had better get up there with a pneumatic equipment, Gee so... and to think it has been on my doorstep all this time...

I am really impressed as you have certainly done a little homework Tonga...

Whilst I am writing to you, are you still at sea or have you slung the hook into retirement now...

Recently I have had a bone of contention with a zero ferry service to and from Norway and Sweden... They as two great countries need a service of some kind... Sorry blowing my trumpet here... That can be taken in a couple of ways...

Anyway great to hear from you, Hope to give you a share of the loot, as you have directed me to the location.....I cannot wait... We all need the money, as the government have King John in power, give you 10p and in return we give them thousands... All The Best To You Tonga...

Cheers Davey "Bones" McConnachy ...(Shiver Me Timbers...Argh) Break out the Rum and have a tot....

************************************************** **



Dave,
There is an unsubstantiated rumour that the bullion is actual hidden on the platform of this station if you look closely, the yellow line is indeed a little golden.. (*))

british hazel
26th March 2010, 15:39
HELLO THERE NINJA...

H,MMM.... I WAS NOT AWARE THAT SOMEONE (A MINISTER) MISLAID A PILE OF GOLD ...WHAT WAS ALL THAT ABOUT... I MUST HAVE BEEN AWAY SOMEWHERE NOT TO HAVE PICKED UP ON THIS NINJA...

CONCERNING GOLD BULLION, I AM SURE THERE IS STILL A LOT IN THE PHILLIPINES BURIED ALL AROUND VARIOUS PLACES... BUT MY DAYS OF DIGGING AND TUNNELING ARE OVER, SUCH A SHAME, THAT WOULD HELP ANYONES PENSION...

ALL THE BEST...

DAVE "BONES" McCONNACHY (ARGH JIM LAD)...



When I saw the headline I thought it was about all the gold a certain minister in Goverment mislaid a few years ago which would have been worth a lot of money now.

british hazel
26th March 2010, 16:06
"HELLO THERE NO MOSS"...

GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE MISSING BULLION FROM CAPETOWN CASTLE...TONGA ONE OF OUR MEMBERS GAVE ME A GOOD INSITE IN TO THE STORY... BUT I WAS WONDERING IF ALL THE GOLD WAS RECOVERED, DID ANYONE GET AWAY WITH ANY OF IT...
CHEERS DAVE MCCONNACHY.



There is a first-hand account of this in Sea Breezes, June 2008 written by Capt Walker who was third officer on the ship at the time.

NINJA
26th March 2010, 18:25
Hello British Hazel

Someone thought that Euros wer better than gold. Same person who told us be were best placed to weather the recession.