An unsolved $17 million heist of Swiss gold and cash near Canada’s busiest airport has led Brink’s Co. to sue Air Canada for allegedly letting a thief slip away with the loot.
(Bloomberg) — An unsolved $17 million heist of Swiss gold and cash near Canada’s busiest airport has led Brink’s Co. to sue Air Canada for allegedly letting a thief slip away with the loot.
Miami-based Brink’s accused the airline of “negligence and carelessness” in a lawsuit after a heist at a Toronto cargo facility netted thieves about 400 kilograms (882 pounds) of gold and $1.9 million in bank notes.
The carrier failed to ensure the shipment marked “valuable cargo” had adequate security and protection, Brink’s alleges in the the statement of claim, which was filed at the Federal Court of Canada on Oct. 6. Air Canada declined to comment.
In mid-April, Swiss bank Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft and precious metals refining company Valcambi SA hired Brink’s to move the goods from Zurich to Toronto, the lawsuit says. Brink’s, in turn, arranged for Air Canada to fly the valuables between the two cities.
The shipment of gold bars and bills was hauled from Pearson International Airport to a warehouse at around 5:50 p.m. Toronto time on April 17. About 40 minutes later, someone showed up with fraudulent documents to pick them up. “No security protocols or features were in place to monitor, restrict or otherwise regulate the unidentified individual’s access to the facilities,” Brink’s alleges in the statement of claim.
The person then “absconded with the cargo” and, so far, “there have been no arrests or convictions and the shipments have not been recovered,” the lawsuit says.
“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,” Peel Regional Police spokesperson Aruna Aundhia said in an email.
Brink’s is seeking the equivalent of 13.6 million Swiss francs ($15.1 million) for the missing gold and $1.9 million for the stolen bank notes, plus additional costs from Air Canada. The security company has requested the case be tried in Toronto.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, which was the consignee for the gold, declined to comment. The Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange, which was the consignee for the cash, did not respond to a request for comment.
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