An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint allegedly smuggled about $180,000 in gold from the fortress-like facility, possibly evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick.
Hiding the precious metal up his bum.
The case against Leston Lawrence, 35, of Barrhaven concluded in an Ottawa courtroom Tuesday. Justice Peter Doody 1 reserved decision until Nov. 9 on a number of smuggling-for-cash charges, including theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and breach of trust.
The Uck! factor aside, the case was also an illuminating look at security measures inside the Mint, the building on Sussex Drive that produces hundreds of millions of gold …”
…Court was told Lawrence set off the metal detector at an exit from the “secure area” with more frequency than any other employee — save those with metal medical implants. When that happened, the procedure was to do a manual search with a hand-held wand, a search that he always passed.
Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said…
Barnes implied there were many ways Lawrence could have legitimately obtained the gold — he could have bought the coins, for instance — and said he made no efforts to be devious with the gold buyers or the bank. Further, Barnes said, the Mint isn’t even sure a theft took place.
“In fact, I would submit the Mint doesn’t even know if anything is missing.”