A retired police officer in Canada has been arrested and is facing rare charges under the country’s national security laws, police said on Friday.
William Majcher, 60, “allegedly used his knowledge and his extensive network of contacts in Canada to obtain intelligence or services to benefit the People’s Republic of China”, the Royal Canadian Mounted police said in a news release.
Majcher is alleged to have “contributed to the Chinese government’s efforts to identify and intimidate an individual outside the scope of Canadian law”.
Majcher is head of EMIDR, a Hong-Kong based cybersecurity company.
According to his biography with a public speaking firm, Majcher worked as a money-laundering expert for nearly two decades, “successfully infiltrat[ing] a major Colombian cocaine cartel at the height of their power” and “expos[ing] Caribbean-based banks established by the Russian mafia to facilitate all manner of criminal activities”.
Majcher appeared in court in a Quebec court via video conference on Friday and is facing two charges under the Security of Information Act: “preparatory acts for the benefit of a foreign entity” as well as conspiracy. Majcher retired from the RCMP in 2007.
The RCMP said its Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (Inset) launched an investigation in the of 2021 to look into Majcher’s “suspicious activities”.
In recent months, allegations that China attempted to meddle in Canadian affairs and has developed a sophisticated election interference network across the country have caused political turmoil.
For months, opposition leaders have pushed the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, for a public inquiry into how China attempted to sway the result of two federal elections in its favour. Federal parties are currently negotiating whether to call a public inquiry. The official appointed by Trudeau to investigate allegations initially said no public inquiry was needed, but abruptly resigned from his role soon after following allegations of bias.
(Source: The Guardian)