Police: Mint worker smuggled $180,000 worth of gold in his rectum


An Austrian worker handles ten-kilogram gold bars at Austrian gold bullion factory Oegussa on October 8, 2008 in Vienna. Oegussa announced on October 6, 2008 that it has increased its production tenfold, as the global financial crisis pushes investors toward a precious metal seen as a safe haven during economic turmoil. Demand is particularly high […]

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OTTAWA -- An employee at the Royal Canadian Mint is accused of smuggling $180,000 worth of gold in his rectum.

Lester Lawrence is accused of transporting several cookie-sized gold pieces called "pucks" out of the Mint and selling them to a gold buyer.

His dealings allegedly netted him almost $180,000 over the course of a few months.

Although the prosecution couldn't definitively identify the pucks Lawrence sold, they did say they matched an exclusive mold the Mint uses.

While trying to put two and two together, prosecutors had to solve the slippery little problem of how Lawrence could have gotten the gold out of the high-security building where he worked.

Putting it to the test

Investigators declared he used a little ingenuity -- and some Vaseline. They found a tub of it in his work locker, and while it is certainly his natural right to possess a lubricating substance, investigators started to wonder what, exactly, he was greasing up.

During testimony it was revealed Lawrence set off the metal detectors at work more than other employees, but they never seemed to find anything on him.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, "the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea."

The court won't reach a decision in the case until November, and it's important to remember that Lawrence has not been convicted of the crime, and the defense claims the Mint isn't even sure any of its gold is missing.

So far it's been a matter of following possible clues wherever they might lead.

Also, the judge presiding over the case is Justice Peter Doody.

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