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Gilles Bertin (25 March 1961 – 7 November 2019) was a French musician and singer, and a member of the punk band Camera Silens from 1981 to 1986.[1][2][3]

Gilles Bertin
Born25 March 1961
Died7 November 2019(2019-11-07) (aged 58)


Born in Paris on 25 March 1961, Bertin moved to Bordeaux with his parents as a teenager. In Bordeaux, he founded the punk band Camera Silens as a bassist and a singer.[4] The band enjoyed significant success in the French punk rock scene.[5] After he became a drug addict and tested HIV positive, he fell into delinquency.[6][7][8]

On 27 April 1988, Bertin participated in a robbery on the Toulouse department of Brink's along with a dozen other robbers, after two years of preparation.[9] The group stole 11,571,316 francs, despite never firing a shot. To this day, most of the loot has never been found. After police launched "Operation Sangria", all participants of the robbery were arrested within two years, except for Bertin.[10] He fled to Spain, and then later, Portugal while running a record shop dedicated to alternative rock. In 1995, Bertin fell ill with AIDS, but survived thanks to tritherapy. In 2000, he returned to Barcelona and worked in a bar owned by his family while living under several identities.[11][12]

On 26 November 2016, Bertin returned to France to face justice.[13][14] His trial began on 6 June 2018, and he faced 20 years imprisonment.[15] However, Bertin was only sentenced to five years with suspension, after the prosecution cited "good conduct."[16][17]

In February 2019, Bertin published an autiobiography, titled Trente ans de cavale, ma vie de punk with the publisher Éditions Robert Laffont.[18][19][20]

On 7 November 2019, Gilles Bertin succumbed to AIDS after spending several weeks in a coma.[21][22][23] He was 58.


  1. ^ "Rencontre exclusive avec Gilles Bertin, chanteur du groupe Camera Silens". Infos Toulouse (in French). 6 June 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Gilles Bertin, enfant du punk bordelais et ex-braqueur de la Brink's, est mort". (in French). 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Gilles Bertin". (in French).
  4. ^ "Gilles Bertin, Punk pas Mort". Libé (in French). 19 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Camera Silens". Rock Made in France (in French). 2 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Fin de cavale d'un punk qui voulait "vivre à fond"". Libé (in French). 23 November 2016.
  7. ^ "L'incroyable histoire du chanteur de Camera Silens retracée dans un documentaire audio". Les Inrockuptibles (in French). 8 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Les années punk, drogue and Brink's". France Culture (in French). 5 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Casse de la Brink's : Gilles Bertin condamné à cinq ans de sursis, trente ans après le braquage". Le Monde (in French). 6 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Ces fugitifs célèbres : Gilles Bertin, un punk en cavale pendant 30 ans". Le Parisien (in French). 13 July 2019.
  11. ^ "La cavale de Didier Ballet". France Culture (in French). 6 January 2019.
  12. ^ "L'incroyable vie en cavale de Gilles Bertin, braqueur de la Brink's de Toulouse en 1988". Midi Libre (in French). 24 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Cinq ans avec sursis pour Gilles Bertin, l'ex-braqueur revenu de cavale". Libé (in French). 6 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Casse de la Brink's à Toulouse : Gilles Bertin condamné à 5 ans de prison avec sursis". France 3 Occitanie (in French). 6 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Gilles Bertin condamné à 5 ans de prison avec sursis". L'Express (in French). 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ "L'ex-punk braqueur n'ira pas en prison". Le Parisien (in French). 6 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Gilles Bertin, ex-punk bordelais et braqueur en cavale, échappe à la prison ferme". Rue89Bordeaux (in French). 8 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Casse de la Brinks à Toulouse : «La musique aurait dû me sauver», confie Gilles Bertin". Le Parisien (in French). 17 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Gilles Bertin, le braqueur punk". France Inter (in French). 15 April 2019.
  20. ^ "« Trente ans de cavale, ma vie de punk » de Gilles Bertin". Rock Made in France (in French). 9 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Bordeaux : décès de Gilles Bertin, musicien punk et braqueur repenti". (in French). 7 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Mort de Gilles Bertin, braqueur repenti et punk des années 1980". Le Monde (in French). 8 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Gilles Bertin, chanteur punk et auteur d'un braquage en 1988, est mort à Barcelone". (in French). 8 November 2019.