By Jesse Robitaille
Toronto police officers are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying suspects after $11 million US (about $13.6 million Cdn.) worth of pure silver was stolen from a shipping container in Montréal.
While the theft occurred in January 2020, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) only issued a news release on Oct. 26, nearly two years after the incident.
According to police, some of the stolen ingots have been recovered in Toronto, British Columbia and the U.S. state of Massachusetts, about 350 kilometres south of the Canada-U.S. border crossing in Stanstead, Qué.
Originally, the silver bars featured several distinctive stamped markings, including the logo of their maker, the Korea Zinc Co., plus a serial number, weight and fineness.
“Investigators believe that some of the silver was smelted into ingots for a better chance of avoiding suspicion when selling,” according to the TPS release. “Investigators would like to speak to anyone who may have received these ingots or fears they may have received silver byproducts from this stolen shipment.”
While bars are – as the name suggests – bar-shaped bullion products stamped with their weight and fineness, ingots are non-specific pieces cast into shapes or sizes convenient for transporting or storage.
“The word ingot comes from the mold in which the bars are cast,” reads the online Investopedia article highlighting ingots. “This process differentiates them from other, usually smaller, bars, which are produced by minting or stamping sheets of gold bullion.”
Police also released photographs showing the 55-gallon blue plastic barrels in which the silver was shipped plus the grey shipping container in which the barrels were transported. The container number is “MSKU 403 026 7 22G1.”
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the TPS at 1-416-808-7300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously by phone at 1-416-222-8477 or online at 222tips.com.