Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
File photo: Travellers crowd the security queue in the departures lounge at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Image Credit: REUTERS

Toronto: Canadian police are investigating the theft of a 15 million cargo of gold and other valuables that was stolen from a holding facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The cargo was reported missing after arriving on an aircraft early Monday evening, Peel Regional Police Inspector Stephen Duivesteyn told a news conference on Thursday.

Duivesteyn said after the aircraft landed the cargo was unloaded and taken to a holding facility, in line with normal procedure, but disappeared some time afterwards.

"Subsequent to its arrival this high value cargo was removed by illegal means from the holding facility," Duivesteyn said.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) said it was aware of the theft, adding that the thieves accessed the public side of a warehouse leased to a third party, outside the GTAA's primary security line.

The theft "did not involve access to Toronto Pearson itself and did not pose a threat to passengers or GTAA staff", the GTAA said in a statement late on Thursday.

The cargo was reported missing to police a short time later.

Duivesteyn would not say where the aircraft carrying the cargo had come from, or its final destination.

"This is very rare," he said.