17 million francs in Swiss gold stolen from Toronto Airport, report reveals

17 million francs in Swiss gold stolen from Toronto Airport, report reveals

A story straight out of an Ocean’s movie: a new report released by American security company Brink's has revealed that Swiss banks and companies lost 17 million francs in gold and money as part of a coordinated heist. The theft is said to have taken place at Toronto Pearson Airport in April 2023.

400 kilos of Swiss gold swindled in Canada

According to the report, the story starts on Air Canada flight AC881 from Zurich to Toronto on April 17, 2023. On the plane, Raiffeisen Switzerland and Valcambi had entrusted Brink's with 400 kilograms of gold and 53 kilos of banknotes, which were going to be shipped to Toronto-Dominion Bank.

To make sure the 17-million franc cargo was secure, Brink's arranged for it to be shipped using Air Canada’s “AC Secure” system, which offers “special treatment for high-value freight.” However, soon after touching down, the 453-kilo package was soon to be subject to a daring heist.

According to Brink's, after the flight landed at 4pm, the goods were transferred to an Air Canada customs house at 5.50pm. At 6.30pm, a man came into the customs office, presented a series of documents and was able to load the cargo and leave the airport. Unfortunately, it soon turned out that the assailant had nothing to do with any company, and was able to swindle the swag using false documents. 

American security firm blamed gold heist on lax security

When around 17 million francs are able to be swiped from under everyone’s noses, it’s natural for the blame game to begin. Brink's accused Air Canada of not implementing any security measures to monitor or restrict the thief’s access to the facility, as well as failing to verify the authenticity of the documents before letting the man leave with the loot. They have now demanded Air Canada return the value of the cargo, along with an unspecified amount of damages.

For its part, Toronto Airport said it was also not responsible for the mess, arguing that none of its security systems were breached during the heist - the man simply passed through the visitor entrance to get to the customs house. Air Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank have yet to publicly comment on the story, and so far, the stolen gold, money and the culprit are still nowhere to be found.

Thumb image credit: Cloudy Design /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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