Nine People Charged in $14.5 Million Heist

( – Canadian police have charged nine suspects in a massive gold robbery. In 2023, millions of dollars worth of the precious metal was stolen from a shipping container at a Toronto airport. Current and former Air Canada employees are among the suspects.

Canada’s Biggest Gold Theft

On April 17, 2023, an Air Canada flight landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport and offloaded a container it had picked up in Zürich, Switzerland. The container, which was being shipped by cash handling specialist Brink’s, was locked in an airport storage facility for the night. However, in the morning it was gone.

It turns out a truck had arrived hours after the container was unloaded, and presented paperwork for a consignment of seafood that needed to be collected. The truck was allowed into the storage facility, where it picked up a container and then drove off. An investigation found the seafood had actually arrived the day before — but someone had printed off a duplicate of the paperwork on an official Air Canada printer, with an altered date. What the truck actually collected was the Brink’s container, and that didn’t contain seafood. Instead, it held 6,600 gold bars worth $14.5 million, and another $1.8 million in Canadian cash.

In September, Pennsylvania police stopped a rental car for a traffic violation and found 65 guns — including two illegal fully automatic assault rifles and 11 stolen firearms. The driver, 25-year-old Durante King-McLean, has been indicted for conspiracy to traffic weapons into Canada. Chief Nishan Duraiappah of Peel Regional Police, which covers Toronto Pearson Airport, believes the guns were bought with some of the stolen gold. King-McLean was also allegedly the driver of the truck that collected the container from the airport.

Five Men Arrested, Three on the Run

On April 17, Peel Police and the US BATF jointly announced that five more men had been arrested, and a total of nine charged with the gold heist. The five are Air Canada employee Parmpul Sidhu, Ali Raza, Ammad Chaudhary, Prasath Paramalingam, and Amit Jalota. Charges and arrest warrants were issued for Simran Pretty Panesar, who resigned as an Air Canada regional manager last summer, Arsalan Chaudhary, and Archit Grover. King-McLean has also been charged by Canadian authorities.

The US Justice Department has also indicted King-McLean, Paramalingam, Grover, and Fort Lauderdale man Jalisa Edwards on federal weapons trafficking charges. As for the gold, police discovered metalworking equipment they believe was used to melt down the bars into smaller units that could be sold. All they’ve recovered is six gold bracelets and $315,000 in cash. The rest has vanished.

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