Canada mint worker who hid $130,000 of gold in rectum jailed

Leston Lawrence, 35, at the Royal Canadian MintImage copyright
Royal Canadian Mint

Image caption

Investigators found vaseline in Lawrence’s locker

A former Royal Canadian Mint employee has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing gold coins by concealing them in his rectum.

Leston Lawrence stole $127,116 (CA$165,451; £100,000) of gold in 22 pieces.

The 35-year-old, who was found guilty last November, was caught after he had successfully sold 17 of the gold pieces through Ottawa Gold Buyers.

Ontario Court Judge Peter Doody ordered Lawrence to pay a $145,900 fine.

Passing sentence on Thursday, he ruled that Lawrence should serve another 30 months in prison if he fails to pay the penalty within three years of his release.

Image copyright
Norman Maddeaux

Image caption

Lawrence worked at the Royal Canadian Mint from 2008 until 2015

Investigators found vaseline and latex gloves in the mint employee’s locker.

Judge Doody said these items “could have been used to facilitate insertion of gold items inside his rectum”, reports the Toronto Star.

The 17 laundered pucks weighed as much as 264g apiece and were sold for sums up to $7,300 each between 2014 and 2015.

Lawrence was convicted of conveying gold out of the mint, breach of trust by a public official and possession of property obtained by crime.

He used the money to buy a boat in Florida and build a house in Jamaica, the court heard.

Lawrence’s job was to purify gold and he occasionally worked alone in an area not covered by security cameras.

He worked at the mint from 2008 to 2015.