• Saturday, May 18, 2024

Canada

Two of Indian origin among 6 held in Canada gold heist

The gold heist, which involved using fake documents, targeted a shipment that had just arrived on an Air Canada flight from Zurich, Switzerland.

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Vivek Mishra

ON APRIL 17, 2023, a bold theft occurred at Toronto’s main airport, where thieves stole a cargo of gold bars and foreign currency worth approximately £13.16 million.

The heist, which involved using fake documents, targeted a shipment that had just arrived on an Air Canada flight from Zurich, Switzerland. This incident was reportedly the largest gold theft in Canadian history.

Now, following a detailed investigation, police have arrested six individuals, including two of Indian origin, and have issued warrants for three more suspects, as reported by Canadian authorities.

The regional police have additionally issued arrest warrants for three more individuals in relation to what is considered the largest gold theft in Canada’s history.

The cargo of gold bars and foreign currency was stolen from a secure storage area at the airport using counterfeit documents shortly after its arrival on an Air Canada flight from Zurich, Switzerland.

Police investigations suggest that the scheme involved at least two former employees of Air Canada; one has been apprehended, while the other is still sought by authorities.

The arrests, which took place on Wednesday, include Parmpal Sidhu, 54, and Amit Jalota, 40, both residing in Ontario, along with Ammad Chaudhary, 43, Ali Raza, 37, and Prasath Paramalingam, 35.

Durante King-Mclean, a 25-year-old from Brampton, is currently detained in the US on unrelated charges, with his legal team engaging with the investigators.

This arrest wave follows an extensive investigation sparked by the initial reporting of the theft last year, according to CBC News.

At the time of the heist, Sidhu was employed by Air Canada. Arrest warrants have been issued across Canada for three additional suspects: Simran Preet Panesar, 31, Archit Grover, 36, both from Brampton, and Arsalan Chaudhary, 42, from Mississauga.

Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, verified the employment details of Sidhu and Panesar, saying, “One left the company prior to the arrests announced today and the second has been suspended. As this is now before the courts, we are limited in our ability to comment further.”

Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity of the Peel Regional Police described the crime as “the single-largest gold heist in Canadian history.”

“They needed people inside Air Canada to facilitate this theft,” he said.

Peel police further detailed, “On 17 April 2023, at 3.56 pm, a flight landed at Pearson International Airport from Zurich, Switzerland, with a cargo containing 6,600 bars of .9999% pure gold, weighing 400 kilograms, valued at over £11.7 million and £1.46 million worth in foreign currency. Shortly after landing, it was offloaded and transported to a separate location on airport property.”

“Our investigators and entire service recognised the heightened interest and impact this incident had in our community. We immediately deployed the necessary resources to address and ensure arrests are made in this complex and multi-faceted investigation that crossed international borders. I commend the incredible work done by our investigators, the ATF, other law enforcement partners, and our community for working together to identify and arrest those responsible for this brazen crime,” Chief Nishan Duraiappah of Peel Regional Police said.

“This investigation remains a priority for Peel Regional Police. The cross-jurisdictional boundaries will not hinder our ability to charge and arrest those responsible. We are working closely with national and international law enforcement partners to arrest those responsible and hold them accountable,” he added.

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