Arrests made after huge gold heist with details that ‘belong in Netflix series’

By Reuters, MiNDFOOD

The truck used for the heist is flanked by police vehicles as authorities give details of the arrests. Photo / Reuters
The truck used for the heist is flanked by police vehicles as authorities give details of the arrests. Photo / Reuters
Police have recovered just one kilogram of the 400kg stolen in the largest gold heist in Canadian history.

Police in Canada and the United States have arrested six people and are seeking three others in connection with the theft of over C$22 million ($16 million) in gold and cash from an Air Canada cargo facility last year.

In what authorities described as the largest gold heist in Canadian history, suspects including an Air Canada employee forged an airway bill to steal the cargo that had arrived in Toronto from Zurich in April 2023.

The cargo contained 6,600 gold bars weighing 400 kilograms (882 pounds), worth over C$20 million, and C$2.5 million in foreign currency, the Peel regional police told reporters at a briefing.

“This story is a sensational one, and one which probably, we jokingly say, belongs in a Netflix series,” Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said at the briefing.

The suspects have been hit with more than 19 charges by the authorities, who recovered one kilogram of gold and approximately C$434,000 in Canadian currency, police said.

The stolen gold may have been melted and reconstituted, making it difficult to track down, police said.

CBC news reported further details of the heist, saying a man driving a five-tonne delivery truck approached the compound and gained entry to the warehouse by presenting a legitimate airway bill — a document typically issued by a carrier with details on a shipment. The gold and cash was then loaded onto the truck and the driver exited the compound.

CBC reported police later discovered that the airway bill was a duplicate of a document used for a shipment of seafood delivered a day prior in details attributed to Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity.  The bill was printed within the Air Canada facility, he said.

Chief of Peel Regional Police Nishan Duraiappah speaks infront of the truck used for the heist as authorities give details of the arrests. Photo / Reuters

Police also recovered some 65 firearms that investigators allege were purchased from the proceeds of the theft.

“We believe that they’ve melted down the gold and then the profits they got from the gold, they use to help finance the firearms,” Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity said.

Five suspects were arrested in Canada and conditionally released. One suspect, originally from Brampton, Ontario, was arrested in Pennsylvania along with the firearms and remains in custody in the United States. Canada-wide warrants have been issued for the remaining three suspects, police said.

Following the heist, Miami-based transport and security services provider Brinks sued Air Canada in October, alleging “negligence and carelessness” by the airline.

Brinks had been hired by Swiss bank Raiffeisen Schweiz and precious metals refining company Valcambi to move the valuables from Switzerland to Canada.


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