RCMP are investigating a report that former Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots are helping train fighters with the Chinese Air Force.
Canadian Federal Police confirmed to PKBNEWS on Tuesday that they had opened an investigation after a report emerged last year that Beijing may be paying former RCAF top guns, as well as ex-military pilots other NATO allies, to train the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. force pilots.
“The RCMP is aware of the report that ex-RCAF pilots are involved in the training of People’s Liberation Army Air Force pilots,” said RCMP spokesman sergeant. Kim Chamberland said in a statement.
“As the RCMP are investigating these incidents, there will be no further comment on this at this time.”
Last October, the BBC reported that around 30 former British military pilots “would have gone to train members of the People’s Liberation Army of China”.
The pilots were offered “lucrative” packages of up to $350,000 for their work, according to the report. And although the BBC report does not mention Canada, the Daily Mail reports that Canadians are also being poached.
At the time, Department of National Defense spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier told PKBNEWS in an email that former RCAF pilots could face serious consequences if they accept the offer from Beijing.
“The Security of Information Act applies to both current and former members, and failure to comply with the law could result in serious consequences,” Le Bouthillier said.
A person convicted of an indictable offense under the Act could be imprisoned for up to 14 years. Persons convicted of an offense punishable on summary conviction may be subject to imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of up to $2,000, or both .
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is an “institution that upholds democratic principles and the rule of law,” said Le Bouthillier, and expects “current and former members of the CAF to adhere to the values of the institution”.
“Any behavior that could harm Canada’s national interests constitutes a breach of that trust and will be dealt with appropriately,” he added.
The Commander of the ARC, Lt. Gen. Eric Kenny was pressed on the matter during an appearance before the House of Commons National Defense Committee on October 18, 2022, and said he was “aware” of the reports.
“I focus on the national security of Canada and Canadians. We take this extremely seriously,” Kenny said.
“We review threats every day to ensure we are prepared to deal with them today and in the future. »
Canada is working “closely” with all of its partners to ensure it undertakes “appropriate vetting” related to the safety of those working within the Air Force, Kenney added.
Relations between Canada and China are at an all-time low due to allegations of foreign interference by Beijing in elections and democracy in Canada.
In June, RCMP Commissioner Michael Duhem told MPs on the Procedure and House Affairs Committee that the RCMP has more than 100 ongoing investigations related to foreign interference.
Chamberland on Tuesday reiterated the RCMP’s commitment to investigating allegations of foreign interference when asked about the investigation.
“The RCMP is aware of foreign actor interference activities in Canada by foreign state actors. Various methods and techniques are in place to counter interference by foreign actors within the mandate of the RCMP,” Chamberland said.
“While for operational reasons we cannot discuss this in detail, the mandate of the RCMP is to investigate this activity if criminal or illegal activity occurs in Canada and is supported by a foreign state.
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