I’ve read some pretty strange stories in my day, but this one takes
the cake gold.
Ottawa resident Leston Lawrence was charged on a number of smuggling-for-cash charges, including theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property, and breach of trust.
The employee of the Royal Canadian Mint allegedly smuggled around $180,000 in gold from the building. In his rectum.
Yeah, I think somebody’s been watching too much Orange is the New Black.
While that accusation is ridiculous enough on its own, another crazy part of this story is that the Mint didn’t even discover the alleged theft. Rather, a suspicious bank teller noticed that Lawrence was depositing a strangely high amount of cheques from Ottawa Gold buyers and subsequently wiring money out of the country.
Once she realized that he also worked at the bank, the jig was up. Bank security was tipped off about his sketchy behaviour and the RCMP began to investigate. What they found were four Mint-style pucks in Lawrence’s safety deposit box.
You’d think that discovery would be incriminating enough, but weirdly the pucks had no markings. Additionally, no gold had been reported missing from the Mint.
Investigators also found a container of vaseline in Lawrence’s locker, which led them to the realization that he might have smuggled the golden nuggets out of the building prison-style.
In fact, a security employee even tested the idea – how’s that for a mental image?
Unfortunately, we won’t know the final verdict for a few months. Justice Peter Doody (!) is presiding over the case and has reserved his decision until Nov. 9.
Until then, we will all have to wait with baited breath to learn the fate of Ottawa’s notorious golden butt bandit.