May 3, 2018 – It was during an internal audit in March that the Royal Canadian Mint noticed they were missing two gold discs at the weight of one kilo. Considering the latest price of gold, these gold discs have a value of 70,000 euros. An employee was let go after an internal inspection. The Canadian police are currently doing more research while the mint remains guarded over the case until further developments arise.
Of course the security measures at the Royal Canadian Mint are now under close scrutiny once more. After the theft of 2016, they had been heavily criticised and higher safety arrangements had been made. Additional video surveillance was installed and a number of safety trainings were conducted. The mint also acquired new and more modern metal detectors.
In 2016, a gold thief had got into the public eye after stealing 179,000 CAD worth of gold over a longer period of time. Leston Lawrence, 35, had been involved with gold production. He was in charge of an intermediate product and would sometimes work alone and outside the security cameras’ field of vision. He took advantage of these circumstances and stole small gold cylinders and smuggled them outside the factory in his rectum.
The thefts were detected because Lawrence started to regularly sell large amounts of gold at the same shop and send the money abroad. Frist his lawyer pleaded not guilty because there were no witnesses for the thefts. It was only when the evidence became overwhelming that he pleaded for 18 months of jail. The judge sentenced Lawrence to 30 months of jail and a fine of 190,000 CAD. If the convict couldn’t come up with the sum, he would have to face an additional 30 months in prison.
The judge chose such a severe punishment in order to deter others from similar thefts. It seems however, that this was not particularly successful.
CoinsWeekly has certainly covered the theft of 2015/16.
There is now a judicial reconstruction of how the theft of Leston Lawrence was conducted. You will find it in the National Post together with more information on the trial.