On 24 March 1981 the world discovered that Ronnie Biggs was still very much alive – even if a little unsteady on his feet – after he arrived by yacht in Barbados having disappeared from Rio de Janeiro on 16 March.
At the time many thought it was one of Biggs’ publicity stunts, now they would learn that he had in fact been kidnapped from a restaurant in Rio by a group of British mercenaries as he waited to meet a journalist. The group, and the fake journalsit, were never charged for his kidnapping despite the British authorities knowing who they were.
Having arrived in Barbados the expectation was that Biggs would be quickly extradited back to Britain and HMP Wandsworth. That was not to be the case, however, as a legal ruling in Barbados in April 1981 would see Biggs’ case dismissed and his return to Brazil rather than Britain.