Skip to main content

Toronto Pearson heist: Gold likely in India or Dubai, police say

Share

Police believe that the majority of gold stolen from Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2023 has been smuggled, sold and melted overseas.

In a Peel Police board meeting on June 21, members gave an update about the investigation, stating that while a small amount of the stolen gold is believed to have been melted in a Toronto-area jewelry shop, the rest is believed to have been sent abroad.

“We believe that a large portion has gone overseas to markets that are flushed with gold, that would be Dubai or India, where you can take gold with serial numbers on it and they will still honour it and melt it down,” Det.-Sgt. Mike Mavity said. “That is our belief, and we believe that happened very shortly after the [heist].”

The heist saw 6,600 gold bars and $2.5 million in foreign currency stolen from Air Canada’s cargo facility. It was stolen on the evening of April 17, 2023 by a suspect who arrived at the warehouse in a five-tonne delivery truck, according to police.

A suspect and suspect vehicle are pictured during a news conference about a gold heist at Perason Airport. (Handout /Peel Police)

Police allege that a suspect came into possession of the stolen gold and bank notes after presenting Air Canada personnel with a fraudulent air waybill. A forklift arrived at the cargo facility a short time later, and loaded the stolen gold and currency into the back of the truck. A suspect then drove off with the gold bars, which were estimated to be worth about $20 million.

After failing to locate the container filled with gold, Air Canada launched an internal investigation. Peel Regional Police were notified shortly before 3 a.m. the following day.

‘NOT EVEN NEAR THE END’: INVESTIGATION HAS COST OVER $5 MILLION

The investigation has logged over 28,000 hours of investigative work by Peel Regional Police (PRP) and 9,500 hours of overtime, which, according to PRP, is likely over $1.1 million in billed staff hour’s to-date.

“I’m old school, so I just put $125 an hour in for regular time and time and a half, which takes the cost at this point to $5.293 million, and the project’s not even near the end” Alan Boughton, board member and Chair of the Finance Committee, said.

“So at the end of the day, it’s an incredible investment that’s being made to catch these bad guys and you know as we look at budgets, I’m saying this as the chair of the finance committee, a crime like this could be $10 million as a cost to Peel by the time it’s all said and done.”

The Peel Regional Police 2024 budget was approved for $604.3 million, and handles the cost of police infrastructure, equipment, vehicles, policing positions and investigations.

SUSPECTS INVOLVED IN ILLEGAL FIREARMS INVESTIGATION

In April 2024, five suspects were arrested and three Canada-wide arrest warrants were issued for suspects, with a fourth suspect in custody in the United States.

The suspects have since been released on bail, whereas two other suspects are believed to be in the U.K., India and/or Dubai.

Five suspects that were arrested in connection with a gold heist at Pearson airport are shown. From left to right: Parmpal Sidhu, 54, Amit Jalota, 40, Ammad Chaudhary, 43, Prasath Paramalingam, 35, Ali Raza, 37. (Peel Regional Police)

In the June 2024 board meeting, police alleged that some of the suspects were additionally involved in aspects of firearms trafficking.

A video released during the meeting states that there were 65 illegal firearms seized in relation to the 24Karat investigation.

“This isn’t just about gold, this is about how gold becomes guns,” Peel Regional Police Board Chair member Nando Iannicca said in the video. “And gold can be remade, but people’s lives, and what happens when guns are involved, cannot.”

With files from CP24’s Codi Wilson

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS Joe Biden drops out of 2024 race, endorses Kamala Harris to be Democratic nominee

U.S. President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for re-election after a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about the incumbent's fitness for office with the election just four months away. It was a late-season campaign thunderstrike unlike any in American history.

Stay Connected