Nine Charged in Biggest Gold Heist in Country’s History

( – Canadian authorities jokingly compared the nation’s biggest-ever gold heist to something out of a movie or television show, but the charges faced by the nine individuals accused of undertaking the robbery are real and could see them imprisoned for many years. Six suspects have already been arrested, while a further three have been named, with warrants issued for their arrests.

On April 17th, 2023, approximately $1.8 million in cash and 6,600 gold bars worth $14.5 million were stolen from Toronto Pearson Airport by use of a fraudulent permission slip, Canadian authorities say. The theft is reported to have been carried out within a cargo facility at the airport after an Air Canada flight brought the soon-to-be-stolen items from Switzerland. Police say that an unnamed truck driver used a duplicated airway bill for seafood that had already been collected on the previous day to claim responsibility for the targeted goods. After presenting the fraudulent bill to an airline employee, the driver was able to leave with the gold and cash. Police say that the bill is evidence that the gang had inside help from an employee at the airport.

Former Air Canada manager, Simran Preet Panesar, 31, who showed police the cargo facility after the theft took place, is one of the men being sought by the authorities, who say they have some idea of his current whereabouts. They are also searching for 36-year-old Archit Grover and Arsalan Chaudry, 42. Six men have so far been arrested, including truck driver Durante King-McClean, 25, who was taken into custody in the U.S. over firearm trafficking charges after a traffic stop revealed 65 guns in his car. The five others include: Parmpal Sidhu, 54, also a former Air Canada employee; Amit Jolata, 40; Ammad Chaudry, 43; Ali Raza, a 37-year-old jewelry store owner; and Prasath Paramalingham, 35.

Police say they have so far recovered six gold bracelets and approximately $60,000 of the cash stolen. Brink’s, the U.S. cash handling company that had been hired to organize the shipment of the goods, filed a lawsuit against Air Canada last year, accusing the airline of negligence. Air Canada vehemently denies the accusations.

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