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Arrests made in $20-million Toronto Pearson airport gold heist

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Peel Regional Police say surprise arrests have been made in the Toronto Pearson airport gold heist in a joint investigation with the Philadelphia office of the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau.

Details of the arrests and circumstances of the theft of more than $20-million in gold bars and US$2 million in cash are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, the anniversary of the baffling heist.

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Journalists have been invited to a morning media conference in Brampton where Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah is expected to be joined by Peel Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity, and ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Eric DeGree.

The shock Toronto airport heist of $20 million in gold bars — weighing 400.19 kilograms — along with US$2 million in cash was as easy as walking into Air Canada’s cargo facility, showing a false waybill, and leaving with the enormous haul, according to a lawsuit filed in court.

It was gone 42 minutes after it was unloaded from a plane arriving from Switzerland and transferred to a supposedly secure warehouse on the periphery of Toronto’s Pearson airport, according to the statement of claim filed in October by Brink’s, the U.S-based security firm who was moving the  container of gold and cash via Air Canada.

The container was unloaded directly from an Air Canada jet arriving from Switzerland onto a Brink’s security truck while on the airport tarmac and taken to an Air Canada cargo holding facility on the other side of the airport, known as Cargo West.

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Brink’s claims Air Canada provided woeful security despite knowing the high-value contents of the load.

Air Canada denies responsibility for the theft in a statement of defence filed in court in response to Brink’s claim. The airline denies lax security and negligence allowed the cargo to be collected by an unknown and unauthorized person less than an hour after arriving at its warehouse on the periphery of the airport. The airline alleges Brink’s shipped the cargo without declaring its value, without insurance, and without paying extra for additional security.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Other than the two lawsuits, there has been little information about the mysterious, high-profile theft.

Little information is yet known about the arrests.

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