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Mountie charged in China probe

A Canadian mountie waits outside the Senate before the Throne Speech in Ottawa.

A Canadian mountie waits outside the Senate before the Throne Speech in Ottawa.

REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police busted one of their own last week, arresting former officer William Majcher in Vancouver, where he was charged with violating the Security of Information Act — Canada’s official secrets law — by allegedly working for the Chinese government.

China hawks in both Canada and the United States have long been frustrated with Ottawa’s reluctance to respond to Chinese interference. Justin Trudeau’s government has been accused of doing too little to prevent agents of Beijing from exerting influence over, harassing, and even threatening members of the diaspora.

Court documents allege Majcher "used his knowledge and his extensive network of contacts in Canada to obtain intelligence or services to benefit the People's Republic of China," and "contributed to the Chinese government's efforts to identify and intimidate an individual outside the scope of Canadian law."

Majcher, who retired from the Mounties in 2007 after working undercover on money-laundering investigations, has been living in Hong Kong, running a corporate risk firm. In 2019, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported he was involved in Project Dragon, a Chinese government program aimed at recovering money illegally moved out of the country. Human rights activists say China uses white-collar crime investigations to target and intimidate critics overseas.

Unlike the US, Canada does not have a foreign agent registry, which makes it harder to investigate and prosecute those working on behalf of foreign governments. Trudeau has so far not called a public inquiry into the matter, but in the most recent federal budget, his government provided $49 million to the RCMP to “protect Canadians from harassment and intimidation” from foreign governments.


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