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Canada’s Biggest Gold Heist: Nine People, Including Indian Descent, Arrested

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New Delhi: Canadian authorities arrested nine individuals, including some of Indian origin, in connection with a multi-million dollar gold and cash heist. The stolen cargo, comprising 6,600 bars of pure gold worth over $20 million and CAD 2.5 million in foreign currency, is being touted as Canada’s largest-ever theft of its kind.

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah remarked on the sensational nature of the case, stating, “This story is a sensational one and one which, probably, we jokingly say, belongs in a Netflix series.”

The heist traces back to April 2023 when a flight landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport from Zurich, Switzerland. The cargo contained a whopping 6,600 bars of .9999% pure gold, weighing 400 kilogrammes and valued at over $20 million, along with CAD 2.5 million in foreign currency. After landing, the precious cargo was offloaded and moved to a separate location on airport property, only to mysteriously vanish.

The theft took place within the confines of the secure Air Canada cargo facility at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The disappearance of the consignment was reported to the Canadian Police the following day after its arrival in Zurich.

A joint investigation was launched by the Canadian Police in collaboration with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the United States. The extensive probe led to the arrest of nine individuals on charges ranging from theft, possession of property obtained by crime, to conspiracy to commit indictable offences.

Among the arrested are individuals of Indian descent, including Parmpal Sidhu, a 54-year-old Brampton resident and Air Canada employee, who faces charges of theft over $5000 and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Other Indian-origin individuals arrested include Amit Jalota, Simran Preet Panesar, a former Air Canada employee from Brampton, Archit Grover, and Arsalan Chaudhary from Brampton and Oakville, all facing similar charges.

In a parallel operation, ATF in the US apprehended an individual found in possession of 65 illegal firearms, two of which were modified for fully automatic capabilities. Alarmingly, five of these firearms were ‘ghost guns’, untraceable and without serial numbers.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah lauded the efforts of investigators and partner agencies involved in cracking this complex international case. As the investigation continues to unfold, authorities are urging anyone with pertinent information to step forward and assist in the ongoing probe.

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