Mint worker caught smuggling out $165K worth of gold in anus vows to pay it back

Mint worker caught smuggling out $165K worth of gold in anus vows to pay it back
A still from a surveillance video shows Lawrence being checked by a guard with a handheld metal detector. (Image via CBCNews)

There are a number of questions about this story that the source, CBCNews, neglects to answer. One is how a Canadian mint employee managed to stuff that much gold into the orifice in question. Another is how the government plans to handle the retrieved booty (no pun intended) now that the thief has shown contrition and said he wants to pay it back. “Money laundering,” perhaps?

The thief, identified as 35-year-old Leston Lawrence, was found guilty in an Ottawa court of stealing 22 gold “pucks” worth a total of $165,000. According to the CBC article, the “weight” (mass, really) of the pucks ranged between 192 and 264 grams (6.8 and 9.3 ounces).

He was also found guilty of possession of property obtained by crime, conveying gold out of the mint and breach of trust by a public official.

Lawrence was in Ontario court Monday for what was originally scheduled to be a sentencing hearing, but court heard that Lawrence is trying to reimburse the mint for the value of the gold he stole.

If you’re wondering how Lawrence, who worked at the mint from 2008 to 2015, managed not to set off metal detectors, the answer is that he didn’t. In fact:

Lawrence set off the mint’s walk-through metal detectors more than any other employee without a metal implant — 28 times between December 2014 and March 2015…. But when a secondary check with handheld detectors failed to alert guards to the gold, Lawrence was able to leave with it each time.

This at least answers my question of how he fit all that gold in his tush, which is to say he stole the precious metal over the course of many days. The article further explains that Lawrence kept a container of petroleum jelly and latex gloves in his locker to facilitate the crime.

For some reason, the mint had a recording of Lawrence at work, preparing a gold puck.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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