The stolen $2 coins were found inside a car along with a quantity of drugs. Picture: Justin Lloyd.
The stolen $2 coins were found inside a car along with a quantity of drugs. Picture: Justin Lloyd.

Mystery as thieves sneak 13kg haul past Mint security

The Royal Australian Mint is scrambling to uncover how somebody managed to steal thousands of unreleased gold coins without raising alarm.

Australia's coin producer had no idea they had been robbed until police officers pulled over a car on January 10 and found 2000 special edition $2 coins inside, along with a quantity of drugs.

The golden discovery has since been referred to the Royal Australian Mint, AFP and Treasury, all of whom are investigating how and when the money was stolen.

The Royal Australian Mint had no idea it had been robbed. Picture: Supplied
The Royal Australian Mint had no idea it had been robbed. Picture: Supplied

The Mint has no idea how the $4000 stash got through the Canberra building's "rigorous" security measures.

"The Mint takes this matter very seriously," a spokeswoman told the Herald Sun.

"We have a rigorous security system in place that includes internal and external security cameras, guards, staff access cards, metal detectors and scanners."

The Herald Sun understands the coins were produced to commemorate an upcoming event and had not yet been announced or released into circulation. 

Multiple investigations are now underway to reveal how the man came to be in possession of the 13kg loot.

"An internal review is underway to identify the factors that led to the incident," the Mint spokeswoman said. 

"The Treasury will also initiate an independent inquiry into risk management and governance."

Treasury declined to comment while the investigation was still underway.

The Herald Sun understands investigators believe it could have been an inside job, but the man found with the coins did not work for the Mint.

ACT Policing is also investigating the case but declined to comment because it was an open case.

The man was stopped Coffs Harbour, about a five-hour drive north from Sydney, and later charged by local police for driving without a licence and possessing and supplying drugs.

He was also charged for refusing to give a blood sample, negligent driving and for being in possession of suspected stolen goods. 

He was refused bail and will appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on February 24. 

"As the matter is now before the court, we are unable to provide anything further," a NSW police spokesman said. 

tamsin.rose@news.com.au

@tamsinroses


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