Kidnapper of Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs returning to Barbados

Bajan extradition order against Freddie Prime lifted after 29 years.

The last time Freddie Prime visited Barbados was in January of 2009. His vacation lasted until he reached the Immigration desk where officers arrested the 80 year old grandfather and then shoved him back onto the same airplane he’d arrived on – now heading home to the UK.

The trouble for Mr. Prime began in 1981 when he was part of a group of ex-soldiers who kidnapped escaped Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs from his hiding spot in Brazil. They spirited him away to Barbados thinking that our government would extradite Biggs back to the UK. Prime and his team thought wrong.

Biggs ended up going back to Brazil and Freddie Prime and the other kidnappers were ordered deported from Barbados on March 27, 1981.

Some 28 years later in January of 2009 Barbados Immigration hadn’t forgotten about the extradition order against Mr. Prime, so when he arrived for a vacation he was summarily turfed from Barbados.

All is forgiven

Mr. Prime will vacation in Barbados in February of 2011 and his experience will be much better this time because he received a letter from our Chief Immigration Officer informing him that the deportation order has been lifted. (This is Derbyshire: Barbados to let in train robber’s kidnapper after nearly 30 years)

Back in January of 2009, we said of his arrest and deportation “Good for our Barbados Immigration. If they could only operate with such efficiency on an everyday basis with normal illegal immigrants!”

We’ve re-thought our position and although we believe our government was correct to deport the kidnapper in 1981 and 2009, Mr. Prime has apparently been a good boy for the last 30 years so there’s no reason he shouldn’t enjoy a rum or two with Bajans.

Besides, we’d love to hear a bit about the story back in 1981. We hope he emails us or stops by to comment.

Ronald Biggs was one vile, vicious fellow

During the research for this article I learned more about Ronnie Biggs and the Great Train Robbery. In the past I considered Biggs to be more of a celebrity than a criminal. Not any more. Not after reading what his lot did to Jack Mills, the engineer of the train. Not after reading about his lack of remorse.

It is easy to see how the celebrity image developed in the news. There are news photos of Biggs drinking champagne on the beach in Rio, smoking cigars and hanging out with all manner of people from British tourists to the near famous. He used to taunt the British police to come and get him.

I found that Biggs recorded some songs with punk rockers The Sex Pistols. Above you can see Biggs on the cover of “No one is innocent”. Lovely chap. He wrote a book or two, “consulted” on some films about his crimes, and “managed” his son’s boy band career in Brazil with some reasonable success, but the money drifted away because that was Biggs.

He cultivated his flamboyant Robin Hood image and celebrated his fame without shame. With a smirk on his face he told one interviewer that he was “proud” of his part in the Great Train Robbery.

All along the news media were Ronald Biggs’ business partners. Looking back at the past 47 years you can trace the change in the way the media handled Biggs. Journalists helped a vicious thug become a dashing and daring Robin Hood, a celebrity and finally, a victim himself when he came back to Britain penniless and was thrown in jail until his compassionate release in August of 2009 because he had “weeks to live”.

How remorseful is “Ronnie” a year after his release?

How remorseful is Biggs now? Judging by this news article, not at all…

Ronnie Biggs is to collect a lifetime achievement award for his services to crime… a year after he was freed early from jail as he had “only weeks to live”.

Friends insist the 81-year-old Great Train Robber will be strong enough to attend this month’s gala dinner, where he will be presented with a commemorative knuckleduster and an engraved shield with the dates of his crimes.

The event is sure to anger the family of train driver Jack Mills who never recovered from his beating in the 1963 train robbery.

A flyer showing a picture of Biggs and ex-Kray associate Roy Shaw on a fake £1 note is publicising the event, called To Rio And Back.

Read the full story at the Mirror UK: Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs is given a lifetime achievement award for CRIME

Further Reading

Telegraph UK, August 10, 2009: There is a loveable Biggs, but it’s not Ronnie

Daily Mail, August 7, 2009: The vile legacy of a vile man

BFP January 7, 2009: Kidnapper of Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs Refused Entry To Barbados

Wikipedia: The Great Train Robbery 1963 –  Ronald Biggs


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, History, Immigration

2 responses to “Kidnapper of Great Train Robber Ronald Biggs returning to Barbados

  1. ABBTO

    A bad bastard that one.

  2. Pingback: Great train robber Ronald Biggs dead – Good riddance to an evil man | Barbados Free Press