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Friday,  May 17, 2024 8:29 PM 

Police make nine arrests in $24M gold & cash heist at Toronto Pearson

  • Buzz
  •   04-17-2024  11:12 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Police make nine arrests in $24M gold & cash heist at Toronto Pearson
Toronto Pearson airport. (Pax Global Media/file photo)
Pax Global Media

This story was updated on April 17 at 9:32 p.m. EST


Police have made progress in solving a crime that saw nearly $24 million in gold and cash stolen from Toronto Pearson airport one year ago.

According to the Canadian Press, nine people have been arrested and charged in the heist. Peel Regional Police say their investigation – dubbed “Project 24K” – was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau.

The joint effort has also led to three Canada-wide arrest warrants, led to 19 charges being laid and interrupted an attempt to import firearms to Canada from the United States in connection with the case, reports say.

Police say that two Air Canada employees are among the suspects. 

One of the Air Canada employees, a 54-year-old man named Parmpal Sidhu, was arrested and charged with theft over C$5,000 ($3,620) and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, BNN Bloomberg reports. Police said they’re still looking for Simran Preet Panesar, 31, who’s no longer with Air Canada, but worked there at the time of the incident. He’s facing the same charges.

Of the two Air Canada employees who are alleged to be involved, one left the company before the arrests were announced Wednesday, and the other has been suspended, airline spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told Bloomberg. “We thank the police for their diligent efforts in investigating this matter,” he said. 

The loot was stolen from an Air Canada warehouse last year after a bold burglar showed a fake ID and gained access. 

It’s a tale that has since led to a legal drama worthy of a Netflix series. In response to the incident, Brink's, a cash handling and security company, filed a lawsuit against Air Canada, accusing the airline of “negligence and carelessness” over the stolen goods.

READ MORE: Air Canada rejects blame in $24M gold heist at Toronto Pearson

The company’s statement of claim alleged that Air Canada staff handed over 400 kilograms of gold, worth more than $20 million, plus nearly US$2 million in cash to the thief.

The suit, which was filed Oct. 6 in Canada’s Federal Court, claims Air Canada failed to provide adequate security and protection for the big-ticket shipment before it was taken from the facility.

Brink’s is seeking reimbursement from Air Canada for the stolen treasure, in addition to other unspecified costs. Air Canada, meanwhile, has denied any improper conduct or responsibility for the theft and has rejected all allegations.

The gold apparently was bound for Toronto-Dominion Bank, while the cash was heading to the Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange.

According to the Toronto Star, police recovered $430,000 in Canadian currency which they believe to be some of the profits made when suspects sold the gold.

Gold bracelets valued at about $90,000 were also recovered, as well as two “debt lists,” which police believe show how the money was distributed and when the gold was sold, The Star reports.


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