Gold Smuggled out of Royal Canadian Mint in Employee’s Rectum

Gold bar in hand: Metals Wired Blog

The Royal Canadian Mint saw an unusual gold theft over the course of several months. An employee stole $180,000 worth of gold from the facility, which has been described as “fortress-like,” between Nov. 27, 2014 and March 12, 2015.

The unusual part, however, wasn’t that the gold was stolen; it was that the thief stashed the gold in his rectum.

While the facility is extremely secure, this case is a glimpse at a small oversight in the mint’s security measures. The worker was able to get his hands on the gold initially because the mint is so well protected that gold actually sits in the facility in buckets, according to Gary Barnes, lawyer for the defense.

According to the court proceedings, Leston Lawrence would hide a chunk of gold, “a cookie-sized ‘puck’ weighing around 7.4 ounces, in his rectum and smuggle it out of the Mint. He then sold each nugget to Ottawa Gold Buyers, receiving checks for an average of $6,800—depending on the value of gold at the time.

Shockingly, the theft was only discovered after a bank teller noticed that Lawrence began depositing an unusually high number of checks from Ottawa Gold Buyers into his account and then wiring the money out of the country. Upon further investigation, the teller noticed Lawrence worked for the Mint and she raised a flag.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search Lawrence’s safety deposit box, finding four pucks. Further investigation discovered that Lawrence had sold 18 pucks in the 4-month period.