A daring robbery at Toronto’s primary airport, where criminals stole approximately C$24 million ($17 million) in gold bars and cash, remains unsolved after six months.
The airline and armored car company involved in the transportation of the cargo are currently embroiled in a contentious legal battle regarding the stolen goods. Both parties are pointing fingers at each other, claiming responsibility for one of the biggest robberies in Canadian history.
In April of 2023, a cargo warehouse at Pearson International Airport was robbed of 24 gold bars and approximately $2 million (C$2.7 million) in cash. The perpetrators used a false waybill to falsely claim the stolen goods.
In October, it was reported by Brink’s, an American company that handles cash, that due to Air Canada’s inadequate security measures, a thief was able to steal valuable cargo from an airport warehouse only 42 minutes after it arrived.
Recently, it has been revealed that Air Canada has responded by claiming that Brink’s transported the gold and cash from Zurich to Toronto without disclosing its worth, neglecting to include any insurance, and refusing to pay for additional security measures.
Air Canada’s statement in their defense declares that Brink’s Switzerland Ltd did not ask for or compensate Air Canada for any insurance regarding the goods being transported through this air waybill. Additionally, according to Air Canada, Brink’s Switzerland Ltd did not acquire any form of insurance at all. The company chose not to declare a value for the items being shipped and also decided not to insure the shipments, opting instead to pay the standard rate for Air Canada’s services.
According to the Brink’s legal case, the gold was easily stolen by thieves through the use of a fraudulent waybill, due to the inadequate security measures at Air Canada’s cargo handling facility.
According to Brink’s, due to inadequate security measures, robbers were able to steal 400kg of gold and over 50kg of cash.
Both companies have cited the Montreal Convention, which governs global shipments and establishes a maximum amount of compensation for lost cargo.
Air Canada states that the agreement limits their financial responsibility and considers the claims for damages to be excessive and too distant for a loss that was not caused by the company.
However, Brink’s contends that the convention does not place a cap on the amount of compensation it is entitled to. Additionally, Brink’s claims that it paid an additional fee for the shipments and clearly labeled the waybills to indicate that they contained banknotes and gold bars. The company also requested for the crates to receive special supervision.
The claims and accusations submitted in the court documents have not yet been examined by the federal court overseeing the lawsuit.