$1.5 million in gold missing at O'Hare

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$1.5 million in gold missing at O'Hare

October 27, 2000


Approximately $1.5 million in unrefined gold was missing from an Air France plane that arrived Thursday at O'Hare International Airport, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The FBI said the gold has not yet officially been declared stolen.

The Air France flight arrived from Paris at about 1 p.m., and the shipping company reported the gold missing shortly thereafter, the FBI said.

The gold was destined for a refinery in Utah. Authorities would not release the name of the shipping company.

The Chicago Police Department, assisting in the investigation, said approximately 550 pounds of gold was shipped in five metal boxes from the west African nation of Benin.

Only three boxes were found in the Air France terminal, and those were not the same boxes used initially to ship the gold, police said.

"The boxes were opened by the FBI and U.S. Customs and they found some wood carvings and other scrap," said Chicago Police Sgt. Robert Cargie.

Billing records show the gold was originally shipped via Air Afrique on Oct. 23 from the coastal town of Cotonou, Benin. The flight stopped in Lagos, Nigeria before heading north to Paris.

The shipment of gold remained in Paris for two days before being loaded onto a non-stop Air France flight for Chicago, according to the FBI.

No arrests have been made in the case, the FBI said.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 27, 2000

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