Border guard tied to mob
OTTAWA—A Canadian border guard had known ties to organized crime, protected those associates, and used his own position to evade the law, an investigation by the federal public sector watchdog has found.
The guard’s relationship with organized crime dates back to before he joined the Canada Border Services Agency, an association his supervisors have known about for at least four years, public sector integrity commissioner Mario Dion reported today.
“He essentially renounced his obligations and enforcement responsibilities and therefore failed to fulfil one of his core duties in maintaining safety at the border,” he said.
The officer was fired after the commissioner’s report was submitted to CBSA, he added.
The guard can’t named because of privacy laws, nor did Dion disclose the name of the criminal organization in question, except to say it operates throughout Canada and around the world.
The officer was stationed at the Pigeon River crossing near Thunder Bay and police there are still investigating the case, Dion noted.
“We did not discover any evidence of actual efforts to facilitate the transmission of goods,” he said.
“We simply were in a position to determine that on at least two occasions, this particular officer did not execute his duties as per the code of conduct.”
On one occasion, the guard was at a Thunder Bay bar with two known associates of local organized crime around 2 a.m. when police arrived on the scene.
“The officer referred to above identified himself as a CBSA employee as a means to evade the law during a police operation in a local bar, which forms part of the overall finding of a serious breach of a code of conduct,” the report found.
The officer also failed to fully search individuals and cars that were supposed to be under scrutiny by border guards.
One of the people the guard refused to search was described by police as “a ‘participant’ in the ‘number-one criminal organization’ in Ontario.”
The officer told investigators that since he wasn’t involved in any criminal activities, he didn’t see his relationship with the individuals as a problem.
But those relationships clearly posed a risk for the agency, the report said.
“The officer’s off-duty conduct and affiliation with known organized crime figures was highly-inappropriate for a law enforcement officer and had the potential to harm the CBSA’s reputation,” it noted.