04:40 GMT18 May 2021
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    A man smuggled $180,000 worth of gold from the Royal Canadian Mint where he was working, and authorities were stumped as to how he did it, until they found vaseline in his locker.

    Leston Lawrence, 35, hid the smuggled gold inside his rectum.

    Lawrence has been on trial for theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property, breach of trust, and other charges relating to the smuggling. The trial concluded on Tuesday, but a verdict will not be handed down until November 9.

    “This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,” defense lawyer Gary Barnes said in his closing submission, while calling all the evidence against his client circumstantial.

    “And here the gold is left sitting around in open buckets.”

    The mint, widely described as a “fortress,” did not notice the thefts. It took an observant bank teller, who became suspicious of Lawrence’s repeated check deposits for gold sales, noticing that he worked at the mint.

    “Records revealed 18 pucks had been sold between Nov. 27, 2014 and March 12, 2015. Together with dozens of gold coins that were redeemed, the total value of the suspected theft was conservatively estimated at $179,015,” the National Post reported.

    His defense maintains that the mint did not even realize the gold was gone, and therefore they cannot prove that it came from there. The gold pucks did fit the mint’s custom “dipping spoon” that is made in-house and cannot be bought for commercial use, however.


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    Gold, Smuggling, Theft, Royal Canadian Mint, Canada
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