£10m treasury bill to see just $24,000 at Dix Noonan Webb

A £10m treasury bill has been consigned to Dix Noonan Webb, revealing a secretive system that enabled Britain's biggest robbery to date.

Treasury Bill 10 Million
This is the first £10m treasury bill to have come to auction

The bill will sell as part of the September 29 auction in London, and is estimated at up to £15,000 ($24,200).

The treasury bills were issued every week in the City of London, as part of a system that saw the British Government sell them at less than face value to companies, who would then claim the full amount from the Bank of England upon maturity.

However, they could be cashed in by whoever was in possession of them at the time, and it was this flaw that saw a messenger for money broker Sheppards mugged at knifepoint in 1990.

The thief, believed to be a petty criminal who got lucky, made off with £292m of treasury bills, but police investigations led to the recovery of all but two of them. The man behind the mugging was found dead from a gunshot to the head before he was charged.

There has only been one larger robbery of cash in the world - the $1bn theft from the Central Bank of Iraq by Saddam Hussein's son in 2003.

The bill at auction is stamped "cancelled" and, thankfully, the system now runs electronically.

"This is a piece of British financial history," says Christopher Webb, head of the banknotes and coins department at Dix Noonan Webb. "We recently sold a £1 million Treasury Bill at auction but this is the first £10 million Bill to come onto the market."

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