On Monday, an air cargo container carrying over $15 million in gold and other expensive valuables was stolen from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, according to police.
Authorities reported the theft on Thursday, stating that the aircraft was unloaded and the cargo was taken to a holding facility per normal procedure. From there, Stephen Duivesteyn of Peel Regional Police (pictured above) said in a news conference at the airport that the “high-value container was removed by illegal means from the holding facility.”
Police would not say whether security cameras captured the incident, according to CNN, which airliner was used to transport the container, or who the cargo’s owner was. “What I can say is that the container contained a high-value shipment, it did contain gold but was not exclusive to gold and contained other items of monetary value,” Duivesteyn said. The contents from the missing cargo container, described as being five to six square feet in size, are estimated to be worth more than $15 million, or $20 million Canadian dollars.
Officers did not speculate on whether this was a “professional” job during the conference, saying it is too early in the investigation to tell. “We’re three days in, so our investigators have their eyes open to all avenues,” Duivesteyn said. “So, we don’t want to make an error and sort of focus on one particular area, we’re kind of keeping a broad outlook on it, so we’re looking on all angles on how this item was stolen.”
Other thefts in the luxury sector this year include million-dollar wine heists and the theft of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches in broad daylight, the latter of which prompted select police forces to launch special task forces to combat the issue. Other methods of prevention and security such as Richemont’s new online database, Enquirus, were launched to aid authorities in combating watch and jewelry theft worldwide.
Police believe the $15 million cargo theft was an isolated incident. “This is very rare,” Duivesteyn said. As authorities continue to investigate the missing shipment, they are not expected to disrupt any operations at the Canadian airport.