Brink’s is suing Canada’s largest airline for approximately $20 million for allegedly allowing a thief to enter an Air Canada facility at Toronto’s Pearson Airport and leave with gold bars and cash.
The Miami-based security company is suing Air Canada to recover money it lost in the incident, which occurred last spring.
According to court documents obtained by Breaking:, on April 14, two Swiss banks, Raiffeisen and Valcambi, commissioned Brink’s to move more than 400 kilograms of gold and $1,945,843 in US banknotes from Zurich to Toronto.
At the time, the value of the gold was just over 13.2 million Swiss francs, or almost 20 million Canadian dollars at current exchange rates.
The cargo was embarked on flight AC881, which departed Zurich at 1:25 p.m. local time on April 17 and arrived safely at Pearson at 3:56 p.m., without incident.
The two shipments of cargo, emblazoned with the words BANK NOTES and GOLD BARS, were unloaded from the plane about 20 minutes later and deposited at an Air Canada storage facility about an hour and a half later.
That’s when things went wrong, the lawsuit alleges.
‘There were no security protocols’
“At approximately 6:32 p.m.,” Brink alleges in the documents, “an unidentified individual gained access to AC’s cargo storage facility. There were no security protocols or features in place to monitor, restrict or otherwise regulate access.” of the unidentified individual to the facilities.”
The anonymous individual handed Air Canada staff a consignment note, a document that has all the details of the cargo, including instructions on what it contains and where it should go.
Brink’s says the bill of lading was a copy of another linked to an unrelated shipment. Brink’s says the airline took the waybill “without verifying its authenticity in any way.”
“Upon receiving the fraudulent bill of lading, AC personnel delivered the shipments to the unidentified individual, after which the unidentified individual absconded with the cargo.”
A police investigation is underway, but neither the gold nor the cash has been seen since, and no arrests have been made.
According to the Air Canada website“all valuable shipments are charged a flat value handling fee” in addition to a “valuation charge calculated as a percentage of the declared value for air transportation.”
Cargo handled ‘carelessly’: Brink’s
Brink’s says Air Canada handled the cargo “negligently and carelessly” and was “reckless” for failing to comply with appropriate security measures, despite charging higher shipping rates for its “secure service.” He says the airline failed to provide “storage facilities equipped with effective vaults and cages, constant CCTV surveillance and active human surveillance patrols.”
Brink’s says it contacted Air Canada on April 27 to inform it that it was demanding a full refund of the costs it had incurred, but as of October 6, “there has been no response from AC.”
As such, Brink’s is taking the matter to Federal Court and seeking a trial in Toronto. In addition to the value of the stolen property, the company is also seeking an unknown amount of “special damages” and legal costs.
Air Canada declined to comment on the matter when asked by Breaking: on Thursday.
The Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange was the ultimate recipient of the cash, and TD Bank was the recipient of the gold. When asked by Breaking: for comment Thursday, both entities declined.