TORONTO (Diya TV) – Last year’s jaw-dropping gold heist at Toronto Pearson International Airport has taken a significant turn with six arrests made, according to Canadian and US law enforcement authorities. The heist, valued at over $20 million in gold bars and an additional $1.7 million in foreign currency, unfolded in a daring operation that involved a gang exploiting loopholes and insiders at Air Canada.

On April 17, 2023, a cargo container carrying an astronomical sum of gold bars and cash vanished from a secure storage facility, evading the tight airport security. Authorities revealed that the thieves, aided by at least two former Air Canada employees, orchestrated the theft using counterfeit documentation.

Peel Regional Police, leading the investigation codenamed “Project 24Karat,” disclosed that the stolen gold bars, totaling 6,600 and weighing over 400 kilograms, were surreptitiously spirited away along with the foreign currency shortly after arrival from Zurich, Switzerland. The audacious nature of the crime pointed to an “inside job,” as affirmed by Detective Sgt. Mike Mavity.

Suspects arrested are: Parmpal Sidhu, Amit Jalota, Ammad Chaudhary, Ali Raza, Prasath Paramalingam, Simran Preet Panesar, Archit Grover, Arsalan Chaudhary and Durante King-Mclean, who was the truck driver.

Following meticulous investigative efforts, which included collaboration with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, law enforcement agencies uncovered a web of criminal activities spanning both sides of the border. The arrest of a Canadian man in Pennsylvania, found in possession of illegal firearms destined for Canada, marked a significant breakthrough in the case.

Authorities believe that the stolen gold was melted down and the proceeds utilized to finance illicit firearms trafficking. A fraction of the stolen loot, including six gold bracelets worth over $89,000 and a sum of $430,000 in cash, has been recovered thus far. The recovery efforts are ongoing as investigators delve deeper into unraveling the intricate network behind the heist.

In a statement, Air Canada expressed gratitude for the efforts of law enforcement while acknowledging the involvement of two former employees in the cargo division. The airline vowed cooperation with the investigation.

The magnitude of the heist, ranked as the largest in Canadian history and the sixth largest globally, has stunned authorities and the public alike. Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah likened the saga to a script from a Hollywood thriller, emphasizing the brazenness of the perpetrators and the sophistication of their operation.