Arrests made in last year's $24M gold and cash heist at Pearson airport: police

Police say they’ve made arrests in a daring theft of nearly $24 million in gold and cash from Toronto’s Pearson airport last year.

Peel Regional Police say details will be announced at a news conference in Brampton, Ont., Wednesday morning – on the one-year anniversary of the heist.

Police had previously released little information about the case, but a lawsuit filed against Air Canada by American security company Brink’s alleged that a thief used a forged document to collect $23.8 million in goods from a holding facility at the airport.

The court filing alleged that an "unidentified individual" gained access to Air Canada’s cargo warehouse on April 17, 2023, and presented a fraudulent waybill — a document typically issued by a carrier with details on the shipment — to Air Canada personnel.

The statement of claim alleges staff then handed over 400 kilograms of gold, worth more than $20 million, plus nearly US$2 million in cash to the thief.

Air Canada has denied any improper conduct or responsibility for the theft in its statement of defence and rejected all allegations in the Brink’s lawsuit.

The country’s largest airline said that Brink’s failed to note the value of the haul on the waybill and that to Air Canada’s knowledge, it elected not to insure the stolen shipments.

Peel police say the arrests being announced Wednesday are the result of Project 24K, their joint investigation with the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2024.

The Canadian Press