Canadian authorities looking for gold bars

March 2, 2011 at 5:35 PM

TORONTO, March 2 (UPI) -- A $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can help authorities in Canada recover $1.9 million in gold bars bought with a bad bank draft, officials say.

Toronto police say the 75 gold bars, each weighing 10 ounces, were purchased in Montreal between Feb. 9 and 11 with a "fraudulently obtained" bank draft in the amount of $1,895,751.

The gold bars were produced by the Perth Mint in Australia and have the mint's symbol on the front and a kangaroo on the back.

Investigators allege Senthuran Kanapathipillai, 32, of Toronto, had one of the gold bars and was charged with possession of property obtained by crime, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday. A second suspect, Thevarajah Thambipillai, 55, also of Toronto, allegedly tried to sell one of the bars and is charged with possession of property obtained by crime, the news network said.

"Members of the public working in the jewelry and metal industry are being advised of the possibility that persons may attempt to pass these fraudulently obtained gold bars at their places of business," police said.

The reward being offered by the Canadian Bankers Association will go to anyone who can provide information leading to the recovery of the bars and the arrest and conviction of those involved.

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