A container carrying gold and other “high value” items worth at least $20 million Canadian (more than $14.8 million US) was stolen from Toronto’s Pearson Airport on Monday, police said.
Peel Regional Police Inspector Stephen Duestein told reporters on Thursday that the cargo arrived on a plane in the evening. The container was then unloaded and transported to a holding facility in accordance with standard procedures for airport air cargo.
Sometime after this, the container of about five square feet was “illegally moved” and was reported missing to the police shortly after.
“The container contained a high value shipment,” said Inspector Duestein. “It contained gold, but was not exclusive to gold, and contained other items of monetary value.”
(Rick Madonic/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Police could not confirm the final destination of the cargo, or whether the theft was related to organized crime or professional thieves. They were also not sure if the gold was still in the country.
Inspector Duestein stressed that while this type of theft was “very rare”, it was an isolated incident that posed no ongoing threat to public safety. Pearson’s operations will continue as normal, he said.
“The GTAA wishes to clarify that the thieves accessed the public side of a warehouse leased to a third party outside our primary security lines. This did not involve access to Toronto Pearson itself and did not pose a threat to passengers or GTAA staff.”, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, which Pearson said in a statement to CBS News.
According to the Toronto Star, in 1953, 10 gold bars en route to Montreal disappeared from Pearson (then Moulton Airport) in an unsolved theft.
Eighty years later, Duivestein is determined not to let history repeat itself.
“Our goal is to solve this theft right now,” he assured reporters. “Our team has come together. They are working tirelessly on this case.”
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