Former Mint employee Leston Lawrence was found guilty of stealing 22 gold pucks
The handheld metal detectors at the Royal Canadian Mint — just down the street from where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives — reportedly don’t detect metal held inside bodily cavities, so one employee took full advantage of a natural hiding place to steal almost $122,500 of gold.
Former Mint employee Leston Lawrence was found guilty of smuggling 22 gold pucks worth 165,000 CAD from the mint over time, apparently by inserting the solid gold into his rear end. An Ottawa judge made the ruling Wednesday morning even though he was never caught in the act, because Lawrence “clearly had the opportunity” during the hours he worked there alone, CBC reports.
“His locker contained Vaseline and latex gloves, which could have been used to insert a puck into his rectum,” Justice Peter Doody said, the CBC reported. The locker room did not contain any security cameras.
It emerged in court that Lawrence set off the walk-through metal detectors at the Mint 28 times in the 4 months between December 2014 and March 2015 — more than any employees who didn’t have metal implants. The handheld detectors weren’t strong enough to work through organs.
Lawrence was found guilty of laundering 18 pucks through Ottawa Gold Buyers, of possessing the stolen property and of breach of trust by a public official.