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9 Arrests Made in Canada’s Largest Gold Heist

Nine men have been arrested and more than 19 charges laid after an incident last year.

The exploit, which has been described as Canada’s largest gold heist and the sixth largest in the world, was elaborately planned and included a 5 metric ton truck, as well as rudimentary smelting equipment.

According to the police, the shipment of 6,600 gold bars (400 kilograms) valued at C$20 million, plus C$2.1 million in foreign currency, was en route to an undisclosed refinery in Switzerland.

The cargo arrived for a layover on board an Air Canada (TSX:AC,OTCQX:ACDF) flight at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on April 17, 2023, at 3:56 p.m. EDT. At approximately 7:00 p.m. EDT, one of the suspects arrived in a 5 metric ton truck at a secure cargo warehouse in possession of an Air Canada-printed airway bill.

‘The airway bill was for a legitimate shipment of seafood that was picked up the day before,” said Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity. “This duplicate airway bill was printed off from a printer within Air Canada cargo.”

When Brink’s (NYSE:BCO) arrived at the airport to pick up the shipment, it was found to be missing. The police were contacted in the wee hours of the morning on April 18, 2023, and an investigation dubbed Project 24K ensued.

In the year since, nine people have been charged, one a former employee of Air Canada.

Warrants have been issued for an additional three men, one of whom is also a former employee of Air Canada.

The inclusion of two former airport employees prompted police to call the heist “an inside job.”

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah also noted that one of the suspects who was employed by Air Canada at the time of the theft provided police with a tour of the facility in the early days of the investigation.

On hand during the media briefing was a special agent from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Eric DeGree, special agent in charge, recounted how the suspected getaway driver, Durante King-Mclean, was pulled over in the state of Pennsylvania in the autumn of 2023. King-Mclean fled the scene on foot and his rented vehicle was searched. The search uncovered 65 firearms that were believed to be headed to Canada.

The investigation recovered six pure gold bracelets with an estimated value of C$90,000.

An additional three warrants remain outstanding.

In late 2023, Brink’s filed a lawsuit against Pearson International Airport and Air Canada regarding the theft. The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the airport and airline, claiming they failed to secure the cargo.

In its response, Air Canada claims Brink’s did not obtain insurance for the cargo or disclose its true value.

Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

This post appeared first on investingnews.com
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