Make Kitco Your Homepage

$5 Million Worth of Gold Seized at Heathrow Airport

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - En route from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland, nearly 230 pounds of gold valued at approximately $5 million were discovered and seized by British authorities.

According to the National Crime Agency, the bullion started its long-haul journey in Venezuela, where it was put on a private jet and sent to the Cayman Islands. It was then flown to the U.K., where it would stop before reaching its final destination of Switzerland.

However, upon its arrival at Heathrow Airport, the gold was seized by British authorities. After a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in London, the NCA was granted the right to hold the gold under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which combats money laundering crime and the financing of terrorist activities.

Border Force, the United Kingdom’s border control unit, detained the bullion earlier this month after receiving a tip from the NCA, which has been investigating a suspected drug cartel operating out of South America. The gold shipment is further being investigated by the Cayman authorities in a joint effort with the NCA.

Steve McIntyre, commander of the NCA Heathrow branch, said authorities identified the shipment due to collaboration with partners overseas and locally, which confirmed a link to South American drug cartels.

According to reports, no arrests were made, but British authorities have emphasized that the seizure is a step in the right direction in their efforts to crack down on criminal activity.

“Taking large amounts of money or gold out of the control of criminal networks hits them where they feel it most – in the pocket,” said Nick Jariwalla, director of Border Force’s Heathrow patrol.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.