A daring heist at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport has left authorities baffled and millions of dollars worth of gold and other valuables missing. The incident occurred on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, when a group of masked men broke into a secure area of the airport and stole two large containers that were being loaded onto a cargo plane bound for New York.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the thieves used a stolen truck and a fake employee ID to gain access to the airport’s cargo terminal. They then overpowered two security guards and forced them to open the containers, which contained about $15 million worth of gold bars, jewelry, coins, and other precious items. The thieves loaded the loot onto their truck and fled the scene before the police arrived.
The RCMP said they are working with the airport authorities, the cargo company, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate the heist, which they described as “highly organized and sophisticated”. They have not released any details about the possible suspects, but they have asked for the public’s help in identifying them or locating the stolen truck.
The heist has drawn comparisons to another infamous Canadian airport robbery that took place in 1990, when armed men ambushed a private plane at Montreal’s Mirabel International Airport and made off with nearly $13.7 million in gold ingots and other valuables. That case remains unsolved to this day.
The airport heist has also raised questions about the security measures at Canada’s busiest airport, which handles more than 50 million passengers and 500,000 metric tons of cargo annually. The airport authorities said they are reviewing their protocols and procedures to prevent such incidents from happening again. They also assured the public that the heist did not affect the safety or operations of the airport.
The gold and other valuables that were stolen belonged to various clients of a Toronto-based company that specializes in transporting high-value items. The company said it is cooperating with the authorities and hopes to recover its property soon. It also said it has insurance coverage for its losses.