Mindanao Times

Canadian police spy connection deepens

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A SENIOR Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) intelligen­ce officer arrested this week for allegedly stealing sensitive documents oversaw an investigat­ion into the laundering of stolen Russian funds, Canadian media reported on Saturday.

The Globe and Mail said Cameron Ortis’s arrest was linked to a major corruption case that was first revealed by Sergei Magnitsky, who went public with

details of a $230-million fraud scheme allegedly run by senior Russian interior ministry and tax officials.

Ortis was as recently as August said to be overseeing a probe in whether some of the money was funneled through Canada, the newspaper reported.

“Ortis, director-general of the RCMP’s National Intelligen­ce Coordinati­on Centre, was planning to meet for a second time with the legal team pursuing the matter alleging more than $14-million in Russian fraud proceeds were tied to Canada,” The Globe and Mail said, citing an unnamed source.

Ortis’s involvemen­t in the case came after William Browder, a British financier and former investor in Russia whom Magnitsky worked for, filed a complaint with the RCMP in 2016.

Magnitsky died in detention after spending 11 months in prisons in 2009.

Canada’s federal police agency hasn’t opened a former investigat­ion into the allegation, despite a

2017 meeting between Ortis and Browder, the newspaper said.

Ortis, who was arrested in the capital Ottawa on Thursday, was a top advisor to former RCMP commission­er Bob Paulson, and had control over counter-intelligen­ce operations, Canada’s Global News reported.

He faces five charges under the country’s criminal code and its Security of Informatio­n Act and will appear for a court hearing next Friday.

“The allegation­s are that he obtained, stored, processed sensitive informatio­n, we believe with the intent to communicat­e it to people that he shouldn’t be communicat­ing it to,” prosecutor John MacFarlane told journalist­s after Ortis appeared in court last Friday.

The RCMP fears Ortis stole “large quantities of informatio­n, which could compromise an untold number of investigat­ions,” according to Global News, which first reported the arrest.

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