Air Canada is facing a legal battle as security services company Brink’s sues the airline for the theft of $23.8 million in gold and cash from its facilities at Toronto’s Pearson airport. However, Air Canada has firmly rejected all allegations in the lawsuit, stating that it fulfilled its carriage contract and denies any careless or improper conduct.
Brink’s claims that an individual gained access to Air Canada’s cargo warehouse shortly after a flight from Zurich landed at Pearson. Acting with fraudulent paperwork, the thief was able to deceive staff and make off with 400 kilograms of gold, equivalent to 24 bars worth approximately $21.1 million, along with nearly US$2 million in cash.
Air Canada’s defense maintains that Brink’s failed to properly note the value of the cargo on the waybill, the document containing shipment details typically issued by the carrier. In addition, Air Canada cites the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty that would limit the airline’s liability if Brink’s suffered losses.
While the legal battle continues, this incident raises concerns about the security measures in place at Pearson airport and the potential vulnerabilities within the cargo handling processes. Airports worldwide handle enormous amounts of valuable cargo daily, making them attractive targets for criminals. It is crucial for airlines to enhance security protocols and ensure proper verification of shipment documents to prevent such incidents in the future.
1. What is the Montreal Convention?
The Montreal Convention is a multilateral treaty governing international air travel. It establishes rules and regulations regarding liability for various aspects of air carriage, including loss, damage, and delayed delivery of cargo.
2. How much gold and cash were stolen?
The thief managed to steal 400 kilograms of gold, equivalent to 24 bars, valued at approximately $21.1 million. Additionally, nearly US$2 million in cash was also taken.
3. What is Brink’s claiming in its lawsuit?
Brink’s has filed a lawsuit against Air Canada, claiming breach of contract and seeking millions of dollars in damages for the theft of the gold and cash from the airline’s cargo warehouse.