$20M in gold stolen from Canadian airport likely overseas already, police say

A photo of the falsified seafood order that was used to gain access to the Air Canada warehouse is displayed on a monitor. Peel Regional Police and the US Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau announced details and arrests made concerning the theft of

A police department in Canada believes over 6,500 gold bars have disappeared overseas after being stolen from an airport last year. 

The incident, which took place in April 2023 at Toronto’s Pearson International airport, was perhaps the most valuable gold heist in history. Police reported more than CA$20,000,000 worth of gold was stolen in the form of 6,600 serialized bars. 

"We believe a large portion has gone overseas to markets that are flush with gold," lead investigator Det. Sgt. Mike Mavity said at a June 21 meeting of the Peel Police Service Board, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 

He continued, "That would be Dubai, or India, where you can take gold with serial numbers on it, and they will still honor it and melt it down."

Mavity said he believes the gold was handed over to another party and melted down very shortly after the heist.

Suspects in the case include a jewelry store owner, a former Air Canada manager, and a warehouse employee. A total of nine individuals have been arrested in connection with the case.


The suspects reportedly used a completed bill for a seafood pick-up to forge paperwork that was given to a warehouse attendant.

Authorities believe a small amount of precious metal was melted down in the basement of a Mississauga jewelry store immediately following the heist. Only CA$90,000 has been recovered from the heist.

Police have attempted to draw connections between the stolen gold and cross-border gun trafficking, citing dozens of firearms seized from suspects in the investigation.

Sgt Mike Mavity of the Peel police, a lead investigator in the case, speaks to the media with the sum total of the gold so far recovered projected beside him. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Two fully automatic weapons and several untraceable firearms were recovered, but authorities have not yet offered substantial evidence of connections to the illegal gun trade.

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