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Some of gold stolen during airport heist was melted down in basement of GTA jewelry store: police

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At least some of the gold bars stolen during the heist at Pearson Airport one year ago was likely melted down in the basement of a Toronto area jewelry store, Peel police tell CP24.com.

Last week, investigators held a news conference on the one-year anniversary of the heist, announcing that five suspects had been arrested and four others are facing charges in connection with the largest gold theft in Canadian history.

Police said the suspects face a total of 19 charges and Canada-wide warrants have been issued for the arrest of three of the suspects who have not yet been apprehended.

One former and one current Air Canada employee are among the suspects, as well as a Toronto jewelry store owner, police said.

During last week’s news conference, police shared images of smelting equipment that was seized during the investigation.

In a statement to CP24.com on Monday, police said that equipment, which is used to change the composition of gold, was found in the basement of a GTA jewelry store.

Police display smelting pots, casts and molds which they believe were used to alter gold stolen in a heist at Toronto Pearson airport, (Handout /Peel police)

“In conjunction with other evidence, that leads us to believe that some of the gold was melted there. At this time, we cannot get into precisely how much was melted there,” a spokesperson for the police service said in an email to CP24.com.

Police have also said that the only gold recovered from the heist was melted down and fashioned into six gold bracelets, worth an estimated $89,000.

“The gold bracelets were not found at the same location as the smelting tools, and we cannot divulge where they were found at this time,” police said Monday.

“Regarding the remaining gold, our opinion is that it likely has left the country.”

Six pure gold bracelets worth an estimated $89,000 were recovered as part of an investigation into a gold heist at Toronto Pearson airport and are displayed in this image from Peel police. (Handout)

The gold, along with about $2.5 million in foreign currency, was shipped to Toronto from Zurich in the hull of an Air Canada plane on April 17, 2023. The shipment was offloaded to an Air Canada cargo facility shortly after the flight landed at Pearson Airport that afternoon.

Police allege that a suspect driving a five-tonne delivery truck came into possession of the gold and bank notes after presenting Air Canada personnel with a fraudulent airway bill.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah previously said that the heist was “carefully planned” by a “well-organized group of criminals.” 

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