Police probe $15 million Toronto gold heist after thieves swipe container from Canadian airport

Travelers walk at Toronto Pearson International Airport on August 9, 2021 in Toronto, Canada.
Police are investigating a $15 million gold heist at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Yu Ruidong—China News Service/Getty Images

Canadian police have launched an investigation after a container holding almost $15 million worth of gold and valuables vanished from Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Gold mined in the country’s Ontario province, which produces around a fifth of the minerals mined in Canada, often transits through Pearson, Canada’s biggest airport.

Authorities believe thieves took an aircraft container containing the goods after it was transported from the airport to a cargo holding facility on the evening of April 17.

Speaking at a news conference at the airport on Thursday, Peel Regional Police inspector Stephen Duivesteyn said officers were investigating “all avenues” but assured passengers that they were safe.

“We do not consider this a public safety matter,” he said.

Police said that the value of the stolen goods amounted to more than C$20 million ($14.8 million).

According to Duivesteyn, the missing five-square-foot container held gold and “other items of monetary value.”

“Our goal is to solve this theft. We want to solve it. I cannot provide exact details,” he said as he refused to give details on which airline shipped the gold, where it came from, or its destination.

“We’re kind of keeping a broad outlook on it, so we’re looking on all angles on how this item was stolen.”

A spokesperson for Peel Regional Police did not respond to Fortune’s request for further comment.

However, a representative for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) clarified in a statement that the crime did not involve Toronto Pearson Airport itself.

“Thieves accessed the public side of a warehouse that is leased to a third party, outside of our primary security line,” the spokesperson said in an email. “This did not involve access to Toronto Pearson itself and did not pose a threat to passengers or GTAA staff.”

Canada’s biggest ever heist

Monday’s theft is believed to be one of the biggest ever heists to have occurred in Canada—surpassing the infamous “great maple syrup heist,” which saw thieves target 3,000 tons of syrup valued at almost C$18 million ($13 million) between 2011 and 2012.

Last year, Canada’s Supreme Court ordered the ringleader of the infamous syrup heist—which inspired a Hollywood movie—to repay millions to his victims or spend more time in jail.

In 1990, Montreal’s Dorval International Airport became the scene of a $13.7 million heist when armed thieves ambushed a private jet and made off with gold ingots and other valuables.

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