Four Arrested Over $20M Gold Heist in Toronto Airport

Following the indictment of four individuals in the US, Canadian police have announced a breakthrough in their ongoing investigation into the largest gold theft in the country.

In April 2023, just after a flight from Switzerland arrived at Toronto Pearson Airport, a cargo facility belonging to Air Canada was broken into, stealing gold bars valued over $20 million.

Canadian police believe the people they apprehended for an international gun-smuggling operation were involved. The suspects are Jalisa Edwards (25) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida,  Durante King-Mclean (25), Archit Grover (36), and Prasath Paramalingam (34) of Brampton.

After presenting a carrier invoice to Air Canada employees, the criminals reportedly fled the airport with 882 pounds of gold ingots and over $2 million in cash.

During King-Mclean’s arrest in Pennsylvania five months after the heist, he was found to be in the US illegally.  Authorities discovered 65 illegal firearms, including two fully automatic rifles, which he intended to bring back to Canada in his vehicle.  Paramalingam allegedly helped King-Mclean into the United States and was engaged in the firearm smuggling operation, according to police.

The theft occurred when the precious metal was being transported from Zurich to a refinery in Canada by the Swiss banks Raiffeisen and Valcambi.

The banks entrusted Brink’s Security with transporting their money, and in October of 2023, the business filed a negligence lawsuit against Air Canada.

Air Canada claimed Brinks allegedly failed to notify the airline of the cargo’s worth, lacked insurance, and refused to pay for extra security.

According to the complaint, the container was allegedly transferred from the Air Canada jet to Cargo West, a so-called secure storage located on the airport’s outskirts, after being put on a Brink’s security vehicle on the runway.  The container was turned over to the criminals after showing a copy of a waybill from a different shipment.

According to reports,  this robbery is considered the biggest gold heist in Canada and was listed as the sixth greatest heist in international criminal history.

The British Bank of the Middle East theft in Beirut on January 20, 1976, was the largest gold heist in modern history.  During the civil war in Lebanon, a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) linked group tore into a bank, smashing through a wall.  The theft amounted to over a billion dollars (over 26 thousand pounds of gold).