A young mine employee has been charged with workplace theft after authorities discovered he had sold large quantities of a precious metal to pawn brokers.
The Western Australia Police Force accused the 30-year-old man from Camillo of stealing 67.5 ounces of gold while working as a mill reliner for a mining services company between July 2015 and June 2019.
More than $81,000 received
Investigators believe the suspect travelled to several gold mines where he allegedly came into contact with gold pieces either trapped under the mill liners or inside of the mill. Instead of allowing the pieces to be flattened into small nuggets during the processing stage, he is accused of removing them and selling the nuggets to different pawnbrokers and gold buyers across Perth.
Detectives from Gold Stealing Detection Unit estimate the suspect received more than $81,000 in return for the nuggets, and has charged him with possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property.
Regular contact with gold
Investigators believe it was easy for the suspect to remove the gold without being noticed.
“His duties required him to travel to several gold mines and during his job he came into contact with pieces of gold trapped under the mill liners and loose pieces of gold within the mill,” police said in a public statement.
The man is due to face Perth Magistrates Court on 30 July 2019.