Close  

Top Canadian police official arrested on spying charges

/ 07:41 AM September 14, 2019

OTTAWA, Canada — The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Friday that they had arrested a senior intelligence officer for allegedly stealing sensitive documents.

Cameron Ortis faces five charges under Canada’s criminal code and its Security of Information Act, the federal police agency said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 on Friday.

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

FEATURED STORIES

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is campaigning for a second term in office, told reporters at an election rally “I can assure you that the authorities are taking this extremely seriously,” without commenting further.

His opponent Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said it was “extremely concerning that a senior RCMP intelligence officer has been arrested for leaking national security information.”

“This is another reminder of the threats we face from foreign actors,” said Scheer, who is tied in the polls with Trudeau.

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.

Canada is a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance with Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States.

The public broadcaster Radio-Canada said Ortis is a specialist in East Asia, critical infrastructure and online “bots.”

On the LinkedIn social network, the account of a person named Cameron Ortis indicates that he has worked for the Canadian government since 2007 after receiving a doctorate in international relations and political science at The University of British Columbia.

ADVERTISEMENT

The account also says he speaks Mandarin, the main language of China, with which Canada is in the midst of an unprecedented diplomatic crisis.

Beijing last December detained two Canadian nationals in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a Chinese tech executive on a US warrant.

China has also blocked Canadian agricultural shipments worth billions of dollars.  /muf

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Canada, China, espionage, ‎Police, Prosecution, Security
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.