Bullion theft plan admitted by four men from Essex

Four men from Essex have been remanded in custody over a plan to steal £1m in gold and silver bullion.

At the Old Bailey, the four admitted being part of a conspiracy to steal the bullion in Antwerp, Belgium, last year.

Brian Mulcahay, 44, David Chatwood, 53, Stanley Rose, 74, and David Gale, 55, all from Essex, were told by judge Peter Rook to expect to go to prison.

They will be sentenced later this year after the trial of five men and one woman accused of the same offence.

These six people are also charged with conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the crime.

Locked in vehicle

The precious metal was said to be the property of Swiss company Metalor, the court was told.

Bullion lorry driver Mulcahay, of Westcliff-on-Sea, was discovered by police locked in his vehicle in Belgium on 4 October last year after ringing his employers to say he had been robbed.

Chatwood, of Brentwood, was seen to contact some of the other accused conspirators four days later at a Harvester restaurant in Dartford, Kent.

Nine days after the robbery, most of the bullion was discovered in an apartment and a hotel room in Antwerp rented by Rose, also of Brentwood, the Old Bailey heard.

Judge Peter Rook told the men: "This is a very serious matter and a custodial sentence is inevitable."

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