Two Indo-Canadian men among 5 arrested for Canada's largest gold heist

Toronto, April 18 (IANS): Two Indo-Canadian men are among five South Asians arrested for Canada's largest gold heist at Toronto airport.

On April 17, 2023, in the largest gold heist at Canada's biggest airport, 6,600 gold bars valued at over (Canadian) $20 million and foreign currency amounting to about (Canadian) $2.5 million were stolen from an Air Canada storage depot at Pearson International Airport here.

Making this announcement on Tuesday at Toronto airport, police said Brampton's Parmpal Sidhu, 54, who is an Air Canada employee, is among those arrested.

Another Indo-Canadian arrested is Amit Jalota, 40, from Oakville near Toronto.

The other three men arrested in this case were Ammad Chaudhary, 43, of Georgetown near Brampton, Ali Raza, 37, of Toronto, and Prasath Paramalingam, 35, from Brampton.

The arrests were announced after a long-year investigation under Project 24K.

Besides, the police have issued Canada-wide warrants for Simran Preet Panesar, 31, from Brampton, who was an Air Canada employee at the time of the theft; Archit Grover, 36, from Brampton and Arsalan Chaudhary, a 42-year-old man from Mississauga.

The 6,600 gold bars weighing more than 400 kg and the currency were flown from Zurich to Toronto on April 17, 2023, by two Swiss banks Raiffeisen and Valcambi for transactions.

The Swiss banks had hired Miami-based security company Brink's for the security and supervision of the transfer of the shipments to Toronto.

Brought to Toronto from Zurich in two cargo shipments – with the words BANKNOTES and GOLDBARS written on them, these were deposited at the Air Canada storage depot at Toronto airport.

Just three hours later, an unidentified individual produced fake copies of the waybill -- papers which document the shipments and what it contains -- to the Air Canada security personnel to claim the two shipments.

"A short time later, a forklift arrived with a container of gold and foreign currency and loaded it into the rear of the suspect's truck," police said.

At about 9.30 p.m. the same day when Brink's employees in Canada went to the Air Canada cargo depot to pick up the shipments, it was already gone.

Brink's is suing Air Canada for handling the cargo "negligently and carelessly".

Brink's says, "Upon receipt of the fraudulent waybill, AC personnel released the shipments to the unidentified individual, following which the unidentified individual absconded with the cargo."





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