How Canada's Largest Ever Gold Heist Went Down

Authorities announce arrests in theft of $15M in gold bars from Toronto's Pearson Airport
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2024 7:11 AM CDT
How Canada's Largest Ever Gold Heist Went Down
A truck used to transport stolen gold is displayed at a press conference regarding Project 24K a joint investigation into the theft of gold from Pearson International Airport, in Brampton, Ontario, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.   (Arlyn McAdorey/The Canadian Press via AP)

Authorities have named nine men accused of carrying out the largest gold heist in Canadian history at Toronto's Pearson Airport a year ago, three of whom remain wanted. Among the suspects are two Air Canada employees, confirming the brazen heist of $15 million in gold and nearly $2 million in cash was an inside job. "This story is a sensational one, and one which probably, we jokingly say, belongs in a Netflix series," Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said during a Wednesday news conference, revealing a joint investigation with US partners at the ATF, per the CBC. He said it was a "well-organized group of criminals from both inside and outside of airport facilities that orchestrated this theft," considered the sixth-largest gold heist in world history, per City News.

The shipment, sent from Zurich to Toronto by Brink's Canada, was offloaded to an Air Canada cargo facility on April 17, 2023. Within minutes, a suspect allegedly reprinted a day-old airway bill for a shipment of seafood. Shortly thereafter, a forklift moved the shipment into a delivery truck, which was traced through the Greater Toronto Area but ultimately lost. Authorities, who've since seized pure gold bracelets, smelting pots and casts, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, believe the thieves melted down the gold to make jewelry that helped fund a gun-trafficking ring. The truck driver, identified as 25-year-old Durante King-Mclean of Brampton, Ontario, was pulled over by Pennsylvania state police in September with 65 firearms, including untraceable "ghost guns," allegedly bound for Canada.

King-Mclean remains in US custody. He allegedly received money to purchase the firearms from Prasath Paramalingam, 35, who's been charged by Peel police but is also wanted on firearms trafficking charges in the US, per the CBC. Others arrested include Amit Jalota, 40, of Oakville, Ontario; Ammad Chaudhary, 43, of Georgetown, Ontario; Toronto jewelry store owner Ali Raza, 37; and Air Canada cargo facility employee Parmpal Sidhu, 54. They're accused of theft over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offense, and other crimes. Police continue to search for Arsalan Chaudhary, 32, of Mississauga, Ontario; Archit Grover, 36, of Brampton; and Simran Preet Panesar, 31, also of Brampton. Panesar was a manager who led police on a tour of the cargo facility before resigning, per the CBC. (More Toronto stories.)

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