Police arrest six in $14.5 million Canada gold heist | EUROtoday

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A 12 months in the past, a person drove a five-ton truck into Air Canada’s cargo facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport carrying a seafood consignment invoice to assert a cargo. Instead, he made off with a container of 6,600 gold bars weighing about 880 kilos — and value greater than $14.5 million, or 20 million Canadian {dollars}.

Five individuals had been arrested in Canada and one within the United States, investigators mentioned Wednesday — in what they described because the “largest gold heist” in Canada — after a months-long investigation by nationwide and worldwide regulation enforcement authorities. Two Air Canada workers and a jewellery retailer proprietor from Toronto are among the many suspects.

Besides the gold bars, the thieves additionally stole overseas foreign money price $1.8 million, and investigators have linked the theft to a firearms trafficking operation.

“This was the largest gold heist in Canadian history. Reportedly, it’s the sixth largest in world crime history,” Nick Milinovich, the deputy chief of Peel Regional Police, mentioned at a information convention.

The theft was found when the logistics firm accountable for securing the cargo confirmed up on the airport to seek out the container lacking.

Police dubbed the operation “24 karat” and combed 225 companies and residences within the space for video footage and interviewed 50 individuals. The effort additionally included the Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which arrested one individual within the United States with 65 unlawful firearms.

“We believe that [the thieves have] melted down the gold and then the profits they got from the gold, they used to help finance the firearms,” Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity mentioned on the information convention.

Gold price $65,000 — a fraction of the quantity stolen — was recovered within the type of crudely customary bangles, together with Canadian foreign money price $312, o00, police mentioned. “This story is a sensational one, and one which we jokingly say belongs in a Netflix series or something greater than that,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah mentioned, including that the investigation is ongoing.

Police mentioned the felony operation wanted individuals at Air Canada to facilitate the high-profile heist. One of the suspects even led a police tour earlier than investigators found his involvement, they mentioned.

Air Canada, in an announcement to Reuters, mentioned it had suspended one worker from the cargo division charged within the theft, whereas the opposite worker had left the airline earlier than police introduced the fees.

The 5 individuals arrested and charged in Canada had been launched on bail, police mentioned, whereas the person arrested within the United States stays in custody. Warrants have been issued for 3 others in Canada, police added.

The airport gold theft topped one other well-known heist in Canada through which greater than 9,500 barrels of maple syrup had been stolen and changed with water. The worth of the stolen liquid gold was about $13.3 million.