Canadian officials are investigating a heist at Toronto Pearson International Airport, in which over C$20m ($15m, £12m) of gold and valuables were stolen on Monday, 17 April. The location is often used to transport gold mined in the province of Ontario. Peel Regional Police inspector Stephen Duivesteyn said their team is investigating “all avenues” and described Monday’s incident as “isolated and rare.”
The missing aircraft container was approximately 5 sq ft (.46 sq m) in size and “contained other items of monetary value” in addition to the gold. Officials have declined to identify the airline that shipped the cargo, its origin, or its intended destination. Duivesteyn stated that the theft could represent one of the most significant heists in Canadian history, which includes the 2011 and 2012 Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, when 3,000 tonnes of syrup worth $18.7m were stolen from a storage facility in Quebec.
During a press conference at the airport, Duivesteyn declared, “Our goal is to solve this theft. We want to solve it. I cannot provide exact details.” However, he added that travellers are not in danger, and “We do not consider this a public safety matter.”
The Toronto Sun reported earlier on Thursday that the police believe organized crime groups were involved, but Duivesteyn said it was too early to tell. “We’re three days in, so our investigators have their eyes open to all avenues,” he said. “We’re kind of keeping a broad outlook on it, so we’re looking at all angles on how this item was stolen.”
The airport issued a statement noting that the thieves did not access the airport itself but “accessed the public side of a warehouse that is leased to a third party, outside of our primary security line.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has yet to respond to the BBC’s request for comment.