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Illustration by iStock, Security Management

U.S. Security Company Sues Air Canada for Negligence in $15 Million Theft

In April 2023 a thief walked into an airport and managed to leave with more than C$20 million ($15 million) in gold bars and cash. The security company hired to coordinate the goods’ shipment is laying the blame on Air Canada.

Brink’s International, a U.S.-based security company, filed a lawsuit in Canada’s Federal Court against the airline, alleging it failed to prevent the theft. Just prior to the incident, more than 400 kg (882 lbs) of gold bars and $2 million in cash were flown from Zurich, Switzerland, to the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Brink’s had been hired by two Swiss organizations—the Raiffeisen Switzerland bank and Valcambi, a precious metals refining company—to manage the gold and cash transfer to the Toronto-Dominion Bank and Vancouver Bullion and Currency Exchange, respectively. Altogether, the goods were worth more than 13.2 million Swiss francs, according to CBC News.

“The goods were stolen 42 minutes after they were unloaded from a plane,” BBC News reported. The suit also claimed that an unidentified individual accessed the warehouse holding the goods by using a falsified airway bill for an unrelated shipment, and that no security solutions were installed to monitor or regulate the thief’s access to the warehouse. Instead, the airline allegedly released the shipment to the thief.

Law enforcement has yet to solve the case and no arrests have been made.

Brink’s claims that the airline is liable for the loss and has asked for full repayment of the stolen goods, as well as additional reimbursement for damages and legal costs.

“Brink’s says it reached out to Air Canada on 27 April 2023 to let the airline know it was demanding a full reimbursement of the costs it has sustained,” CBC News reported, but as of 6 October there was still no response from the airline.

(Brink’s Incorporated et al. v. Air Canada, Federal Court of Canada, 2023)