Airline worker among six arrested in $22M airport gold heist. Police say it was an inside job

Airline worker among six arrested in $22M airport gold heist. Police say it was an inside job - Crime and Courts - News

Nine Suspects Arrested in Connection to Canada’s Largest Gold Heist

On April 17, 2023, a multimillion-dollar gold heist occurred at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Six individuals have been arrested in connection to this case, and arrest warrants have been issued for three others, as per the statements made by Canadian and US law enforcement on Wednesday.

The Audacious Theft

An air cargo container, valued at over 22 million Canadian dollars (approximately 16.4 million US dollars), containing gold bars and foreign currency, was stolen from a secure storage facility using forged documentation, according to the police.

An Inside Job

Detective Sgt. Mike Mavity of Peel Regional Police believes that this was an “inside job,” as at least two former Air Canada employees are believed to have assisted in the theft. One of these individuals is now in custody, and an arrest warrant has been issued for the other.

Ongoing Investigation: Project 24Karat

Dubbed “Project 24Karat,” this investigation involved the Pennsylvania division of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The Getaway Driver

A Canadian man, who was arrested in Pennsylvania on traffic violations in September 2023, is believed to have driven the truck that stole the cargo container. The man was found to be in the US illegally and fled during a traffic stop after firearms were discovered in his rental car, as per the ATF.

Firearms Trafficking

The investigation uncovered that a significant portion of the gold and cash were intended to be used for trafficking firearms into Canada. The profits from selling the gold bars were believed to have financed the acquisition of these illegal firearms.

Recovered Evidence

Law enforcement officials say that only a fraction of the stolen gold bars and cash has been recovered. After executing a search warrant, five crudely melted gold bangles worth approximately 90,000 Canadian dollars (about 67,000 US dollars) were discovered.

Historic Heist

“This was the largest gold heist in Canadian history, reportedly,” said Deputy Police Chief Nick Milinovich. “I don’t think I ever imagined they’d have to deal with the largest gold heist in Canadian history, it’s almost out of an Ocean’s Eleven movie or a CSI. But these criminals thought they were more sophisticated than police; they were wrong,” added Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton, Ontario.

Continued Efforts

Canadian and US officials emphasized that the investigation is ongoing, with only a portion of the stolen gold bars and cash having been recovered.