A driver and three other men are facing prison sentences after admitting being involved in a plot to steal £1 million worth of gold and silver bullion.
They pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey today to conspiracy to steal the bullion in Antwerp, Belgium, last October.
Bullion lorry driver Brian Mulcahay, 44, of Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, David Chatwood, 53, and Stanley Rose, 74, both of Brentwood, Essex, and David Gale, 55, also of Essex, were remanded in custody.
The precious metal was said to be the property of Swiss company Metalor.
Mulcahay was discovered by police locked in his vehicle in Belgium on October 4 after ringing his employers to say he had been robbed.
Chatwood 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 which had been rented by Rose, the court heard.
Judge Peter Rook told the men: "This is a very serious matter and a custodial sentence is inevitable."
They will be sentenced later this year following the trial of five men and one woman accused of the same offence and of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the crime.