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Another Indian-origin man arrested in Canada's largest $22.5 million gold and cash heist

Archit Grover, 36, from Brampton, was arrested on Monday last week after arriving on a flight from India. The six arrested people were allegedly involved in the theft of a cargo container carrying 6,600 bars of gold worth over $22.5 million, the largest heist in Canada's history.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Toronto Published on: May 13, 2024 18:14 IST
Canada, Canada gold heist, Indian origin man
Image Source : PEEL REGIONAL POLICE Archit Grover, 36, was arrested by Peel Police on May 6.

Toronto: Apart from the five persons arrested in connection with a multimillion-dollar gold and cash heist in Canada last year, another Indian-origin man has been arrested in connection with the case and is facing charges. Archit Grover, 36, from Brampton, was arrested on Monday last week at Toronto's Pearson airport after arriving on a flight from India, said Peel police on Thursday.

Grover is facing charges of theft of $5,000 and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. He was held for a bail hearing and attended the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton. He is also being indicted in the United States for firearm-related charges. His arrest comes after Peel police, along with the Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, announced five arrests in the case on April 17.

Two other people remain at large in the case. Last month, 37 search warrants were issued along with 70 production orders and nine people have been identified in connection with the case, who have been arrested, charged or have nationwide warrants issued for them, reported Canada-based Global News.

What is the case about?

On April 17, 2023, an air cargo container carrying more than 22 million Canadian dollars’ worth of gold bars and foreign currency was stolen from a secure storage facility at the Pearson airport using fake paperwork, said police. The gold and currency had just arrived on an Air Canada flight from Zurich, Switzerland. Two former Air Canada employees allegedly helped in pulling off the heist, which is the largest in Canada's history.

Two Indian-origin men were already among those arrested on April 17. Parmpal Sidhu, 54, and Amit Jalota, 40, both from Ontario, were arrested along with Ammad Chaudhary, 43, Ali Raza, 37, and Prasath Paramalingam, 35. Canada-wide arrest warrants have also been issued for Simran Preet Panesar, a 31-year-old man from Brampton who was a former Air Canada employee who was employed there at the time of the theft, and Arsalan Chaudhary, a 42-year-old man from Mississauga.

Peel police said that a flight from Switzerland landed at Pearson International Airport carrying a cargo containing 6,600 bars of .9999 per cent pure gold, weighing 400 kilogrammes, valued at over $20 million, which was then offloaded and transported to a separate location on Airport property. The cargo was reported missing on April 18 last year. 

"Peel Regional Police immediately started the investigation, which has crossed borders, and we have been working collaboratively with the Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)," the statement said. One person, Durante King-Mclean, was arrested in the US for possessing 65 illegal firearms.

Air Canada employee suspended

Air Canada last month said it had suspended one cargo division employee charged in the theft while the other, who worked in the same department at the time of the heist, had left the airline before the charges were announced. In an earlier statement, the police said that investigators seized one kilogramme of gold worth approximately Canadian dollars 89,000, believed to be from the theft, smelting equipment, and approximately 434,000 dollars in Canadian currency.

Following the heist, Miami-based transport and security services provider Brinks sued Air Canada in October, alleging "negligence and carelessness" by the airline. Brinks had been hired by Swiss bank Raiffeisen Schweiz and precious metals refining company Valcambi to move the valuables from Zurich to Toronto. 

"We believe that they've melted down the gold and then the profits they got from the gold, they used to help finance the firearms," Detective Sergeant Mike Mavity said. Police also recovered some 65 firearms from King-Mclean, who was arrested after attempting to flee. Investigators allege that the firearms were purchased with the proceeds from the theft. 

(with inputs from agencies)

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