Suspect used fraudulent document in unsolved $20M Pearson gold heist: lawsuit

A U.S.-based security company suing Air Canada over an unsolved $20-million gold heist at Toronto Pearson airport says a suspect accessed the cargo facilities using a fraudulent document.

In a lawsuit filed by Brinks International on October 6, the company alleges Air Canada employees failed to properly examine and authenticate the document shared by an “unidentified individual” during the planned heist at the Toronto airport on April 17.

“At approximately [6:32 p.m.], an unidentified individual gained access to [Air Canada’s] cargo storage facilities. No security protocols or features were in place to monitor, restrict or otherwise regulate the unidentified individual’s access to the facilities,” the lawsuit states.

“Once inside, the unidentified individual presented to [Air Canada] personnel the copy of an airway bill respecting an unrelated shipment ‘Fraudulent Waybill.'”

The flight landed at Toronto Pearson just before 4 p.m. on April 17. Police have said the shipments, believed to have been stored in a container roughly five to six square feet, were deposited at an Air Canada warehouse at the airport two hours later.

“Upon receipt of the ‘Fraudulent Waybill,’ [Air Canada] personnel released the shipments to the unidentified individual, following which the unidentified individual absconded with the cargo,” the lawsuit states.

“[Air Canada] accepted the ‘Fraudulent Waybill’ from the unidentified individual without verifying its authenticity in any way. Had [Air Canada] made the necessary and appropriate inquiries in the circumstances, the unidentified individual’s ability to steal the cargo entrusted to its care would have been entirely avoided.”

Toronto Pearson airport is often used to transport gold mined in Canada so it can be shipped to customers globally. There have been no arrests, and the investigation remains ongoing.

“We understand the interest in this case. This is still a very active ongoing investigation, and information will be released when investigators believe it will not interfere with the investigation’s integrity,” a Peel Regional Police spokesperson wrote in an email to CityNews.

“At this time, we have no further information to release.”

Air Canada acknowledged the lawsuit but declined to comment “as this matter is now before the courts.”

The Brink’s statement of claim says a pair of Swiss companies — precious metals refinery Valcambi SA and retail bank Raiffeisen Schweiz — contracted it to provide security and logistics for the pricy packages and compensate them for any losses.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today