Compromised probe linked to alleged RCMP mole was ‘elite, huge intelligence file’
|globalnews.ca 17 Sep 2019 at 14:39|
The investigation that uncovered an alleged mole in RCMP headquarters initially targeted a broad number of officers before settling on the head of the national intelligence co-ordination centre.
The documents turned up during police searches of Vincent Ramos, the CEO of Phantom Secure, a company that sold encrypted phones to transnational crime groups.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told reporters on Tuesday that the Sensitive and International Investigations Unit was not even certain at first the leak had come from within the ranks of the police force.
“At the time when the documents were discovered, we had no information specifically as to if it led back to the RCMP or if it got through some other source, so it took some time to go through the investigation to get to the point of the arrest of Mr. Ortis.”
According to sources, the compromised investigation of Phantom Secure was such an “elite, huge intelligence file” — with targets including terrorists and international drug-traffickers — that Canada’s Five Eyes allies, Australia in particular, could suffer severe damage from this ill-fated case alone.
The arrest of Ortis in Ottawa last week came years after the RCMP started to work together with the FBI in 2015 on an undercover sting of the company’s employees and Ramos.
A source said that because the Phantom Secure case was a top Five Eyes priority, investigation files were being sent to headquarters in Ottawa every few days. But it wasn’t until after the RCMP raided Ramos’ home in Richmond in early 2018 that an RCMP corruption probe was launched.