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Indo-Canadians implicated in Canada's largest gold heist face charges

Indo-Canadians implicated in Canadas largest gold heist face charges

Ontario: Two Indo-Canadians from Brampton, affiliated with Air Canada, are allegedly involved in a significant gold theft from Toronto Pearson International Airport in April 2023.

The heist, estimated at C$23 million, stands as the largest in Canada's history.

Parmpal Sidhu, 54, an employee at the Air Canada cargo facility from where the 400-kilo gold shipment was stolen, has been apprehended and is facing several charges. Simranpreet Singh Panesar, 31, who was a manager with the airline during the incident, remains at large, prompting a nationwide arrest warrant.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah likened the incident to a Hollywood plot, remarking, "It belongs in a Netflix series." The thieves did not resort to elaborate methods like those seen in movies such as 'Mission: Impossible' or 'Entrapment'. Instead, they used a duplicate airbill for a seafood shipment to steal the gold from an airport warehouse. Panesar even guided police through a "tour" of the facility.

While Canadian authorities struggled to make progress in their investigation, American counterparts provided a crucial breakthrough.

Last September, Durante King-McLean, the 25-year-old truck driver from Brampton responsible for transporting the stolen gold, was arrested in Pennsylvania. He was found with illegal firearms intended for smuggling into Canada, connecting him to the heist.

Following King-McLean's arrest, further investigations led to charges against nine individuals, including Prasath Paramalingam, 35, Archit Grover, 36, Amit Jalota, 40, Ammad Chaudhary, 43, Ali Raza, 37, and Arsalan Chaudhary, 42—all from the Greater Toronto Area. Four, including Panesar, remain at large.

Regarding the fate of the stolen gold, authorities disclosed that it was melted down and sold. The proceeds were used to smuggle guns from the US into Canada.

However, what drew attention post-arrest was a viral video from Brampton showing a man resembling Parmpal Sidhu casually going about his day. Sidhu, along with others arrested in Canada, had been released on bail. Peel Regional Police Chief Duraiappah commented on the situation, stating, “The individual on the U.S. side — King-McLean — is still in custody, so it does frustrate us, without a doubt, but as you know, we’re one part of the system.”

Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre criticized Canada’s bail system, pointing out the accused individuals' release and posting their photos with the caption: “Why are these gold thieves smiling 48 hours after their arrest? Because Justin Trudeau’s catch-and-release laws let them out on bail!”

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TAGS:Gold Heist
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