November 18, 2002

Team Germany wins ‘MISSION MINI’ case

Whitby, Ontario – The inaugural MISSION MINI case has been
closed and the culprit caught as 21 teams from around the world recently
converged in Barcelona, Spain to solve the international MISSION MINI mystery –
– a unique global event that blended fiction and reality to create the
ultimate adventure for MINI enthusiasts.

The Canadian team, comprised of Marc Gagnon (Canada’s most decorated
Olympic athlete), Tosh Fujita, Christine Atallah and Raymond Ludwin, were hot
on the heels of the winning MISSION MINI agents, arriving just moments after
Team Germany uncovered the final piece of evidence. After 36 hours of intense
investigation that culminated in an exciting showdown at the Barcelona
Container Docks, the fictional character Markus Wagner was exposed as the
thief who stole six valuable pieces of artwork by New York artist Peter Halley
from a Barcelona gallery.

In all, 84 amateur agents from 17 countries, including Canada, uncovered
clues and investigated suspects during the intense two-day investigation. To
recreate scenes from the story, 35 professional actors were assigned to 44
locations around the city enabling teams to visit the sites in their MINI
Cooper S, talk to “witnesses”, evaluate their findings and complete to be the
first to solve the MISSION MINI mystery.

The Canadian team, having found all the clues and piecing them together
correctly, narrowly missed the opportunity to have access to the final,
decisive piece of evidence — a mysterious key found in a locker and a note
requesting they come to Tercat Terminal in the Barcelona Container Docks.
Using the key from the locker, the four German agents recovered Peter Halley’s
collages from a black van.

At the farewell party, the winning team received their reward for a job
well-done — a brand new MINI to drive free for an entire year.

MISSION MINI began as a mystery story, written by best-selling author Val
McDermid, about artwork stolen from a Barcelona gallery. The story begins as
six actual (and very valuable) masterpieces, created by Peter Halley, are
stolen from a contemporary gallery in the Spanish metropolis of Barcelona.

The fictional story continues as private investigator, Sam Cooper, is
hired to solve the mystery. Along the way he discovers he needs assistance —
and here is where reality comes in … To help find the stolen art, Sam called
upon the general public — real people from all over the world — to join him
in Barcelona to search for clues. Over 25,000 people worldwide, including
4,000 Canadians, registered for the chance to participate in MISSION MINI as
an amateur sleuth.

Canadians can review the MISSION MINI case on the

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