Inside job: Jail in ‘bounty of breath-taking proportions’ $3.2m gold heist

The inside man who played the role of victim in a $3.2 million hold-up from a Melbourne gold dealer has been jailed for five years and nine months.

Daniel Ede and Karl Kachami staged an armed robbery on April 27 last year when Kachami pointed a pistol at his friend Ede inside the Melbourne Gold Company and stole more than 25 kilograms of gold bullion, cash and jewellery.

The Melbourne Gold Company in the hours after the robbery.Credit:Justin McManus

Despite the impression Kachami was the bandit and Ede the victim, police established they were a team and arrested both within weeks of the heist. Kachami had posed as a delivery man in a high-visibility top, surgical mask and goggles.

County Court judge David Sexton on Friday described the “charade” as an “audacious plan” to steal “what can only be described as a bounty of breath-taking proportions”.

“This was a brazen, sophisticated and well-thought-out criminal endeavour targeted for maximum financial return,” Judge Sexton said in ordering Ede, 38, serve three years and nine months before he is eligible for parole.

Some of the loot was buried in the Gippsland town of Dollar and most has been recovered, but $333,420 in cash remains missing.

Karl Kachami.Credit:Angela Wylie

Ede, as a manager at the business, was aware gold bullion was delivered three days before the hold-up and then on the day of the robbery let Kachami in, disabled the alarm, led his friend to safes and signalled to him to take out the gun.

But CCTV footage showed police there was no ammunition magazine in Kachami’s pistol and that he didn’t see Ede motion to one safe that contained a further $4 million in gold and $600,000 in cash.

Kachami was last year jailed for four years, to serve two years before he is eligible for parole. He and Ede both pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft.

Judge Sexton said Ede’s culpability was higher given he nominated Kachami as the man behind the plan, and because of the “egregious breach of trust” he displayed to his friend and boss, Melbourne Gold Company owner Michael Kukulka.

The judge also questioned Ede’s insight and remorse after the offender claimed at a court hearing this month that Mr Kukulka had racially abused, bullied and withheld wages from him. Mr Kukulka has denied those allegations.

Ede was under financial pressure at the time, the court heard, due to cost of his sons’ school fees and a failed property investment.

Judge Sexton said the consequences of his offending were significant for his family, as they now lived with his father-in-law, struggled financially and his sons had changed schools.

The judge also commended Ede for being accountable at a Koori Court hearing earlier this month when he had to discuss the crime with Indigenous elders, admitted he was shamed, embarrassed and disconnected from his community.

Ede has served 290 days since his arrest.

The courts have made restitution orders against Kachami and Ede for them to pay back the missing cash.

Start your day informed

Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in National

Source: Read Full Article