Police in Canada are investigating a heist of nearly $3.7 million in gold and other high-value items at Toronto's Pearson airport.
On Thursday evening, Peel Regional Police said the gold and other goods were stolen on Monday after containers were offloaded from an aircraft.
A passenger aircraft arrived at the airport in the early evening. As per normal procedure, the aircraft was unloaded and cargo was transported from the aircraft to a holding cargo facility, Duivesteyn said.
I can say that the container had a high-value shipment. It did contain gold, but was not exclusive to gold and contained other items of monetary value. Investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were also looking into the theft, which is one of the largest in Canadian history. The Toronto Airports Authority, citing the ongoing police investigation, declined to comment on the theft.
Goldmines from northern Ontario often ship bullion through the city's airport, which handles nearly half of the country's air cargo.
Duivesteyn added that the investigation was ongoing and the incident was isolated. Police didn't identify the intended destination of the stolen cargo, nor did they confirm that the gold was still in the country.
This is very rare, Duivesteyn said.
But it isn't the first time a Toronto-area airport has made headlines for a gold heist.
On September 25th, 1952, $215,000 worth of gold bullion was stolen at Malton Airport, the precursor to Pearson. At the time, it was the largest gold robbery in Canadian history. During that heist, six wooden boxes of gold were taken from a steel cage from the airport's cargo area before being loaded on a plane bound for Montreal.
It just seems to vanish, a Toronto Star investigator told the Toronto Star at the time. The unsolved crime, with no witnesses, was never solved.
In 1965, Trans-Canada Air Lines changed its name to Air Canada - the same airline thought to have been hit by Monday s theft.
Previous high value heists have aimed a priceless picture and the country's vast maple syrup stockpile. In 2014, mastermind Richard Valli res swiped C $17 m in syrup from a Quebec warehouse, part of the province's strategic reserve. The caper spawned a broad-ranging investigation that eventually led to his death and a Hollywood screenplay.