The RCMP has confirmed that it is investigating allegations that former Canadian military pilots were involved in training Chinese military pilots.
In an emailed statement on November 8, the RCMP said it was investigating reports that former Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots allegedly trained Chinese military pilots at flight schools in South Africa. rice field.
“The RCMP is aware of reports of former RCAF pilots participating in PLAAF pilot training and is working with our partners to determine what investigative action, if any, will be taken. Cpl.
“For operational reasons, we cannot discuss this in detail, but if a crime or illegal activity occurs in Canada and is found to be supported by a foreign country, it is part of the RCMP’s mandate to investigate this activity. It’s within range,” she said, adding: “Various methods and techniques have been put in place to combat foreign actor interference within the RCMP mandate.”
The confirmation came after The Epoch Times asked the Federal Department of Defense (DND) for clarification on November 7. The Pentagon said the same day that the Mountie would lead the investigation.
DND said in an earlier statement on October 27 that it would investigate the allegations. “We are aware of these reports and are investigating this further with our federal partners,” the ministry said.
at a preliminary hearing National Defense Committee On November 3, Brigadier General Dennis Boucher, director of general defense security at the DND, told parliamentarians that the investigation did not fall within the jurisdiction of his division and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
“When a member leaves the Canadian Armed Forces, they become civilians like any other Canadian civilian and are subject to the jurisdiction of their federal partners.” Information Security Law.
“Based on my role, I don’t have to speak to any federal partner personally, but the federal partner we are in touch with is the Department of Justice, and perhaps we should look at the investigation in terms of the RCMP. .
of reported by the BBC On October 18th, it was revealed that around 30 ex-British pilots have been recruited to the Oudtshoorn-based flight school. South African Test Flight Academy (TFASA) Train China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force with a lucrative compensation package of about £240,000 (CA$370,000) per year.
The report added that the headhunted pilots were asked, in exchange for a salary, to provide important and sensitive information, such as how Western planes and pilots operate.
another paper “High-speed jet pilots from Australia and Canada have also been lured to China with huge contracts,” the Daily Mail reported on Oct. 17, according to news outlets.
Several other news outlets reported that TFASA is acting as an intermediary for the PLA in recruiting pilots from Britain, Australia and other Western countries.
On 18 October, the UK Ministry of Defence issued a series of warnings On Twitter, the ministry said it would work with pilots involved to “make sure they are fully aware of the risks of prosecution under the Civil Service Secrecy Act.”
A DND statement of October 27 similarly stated that members’ actions that harm Canada’s national interests would be dealt with appropriately.
“The Information Security Act applies to both current and former members, and failure to comply with the law can have serious consequences,” the ministry said.
“As an institution that upholds democratic principles and the rule of law, we trust and expect current and former CAF members to adhere to our institution’s values.”
of earth and mail said it had received a statement from TFASA on November 3 confirming that the academy employs a former RCAF pilot.
“Most of the Canadians are former RCAFs, but some may be privately trained or privately trained pilots,” the company said.
In testimony on November 3, Boucher said the military could not do much about it.
“We are aware of the allegations and clearly this issue is of great concern to us,” Boucher told committee members.
“But I know these are post-employment activities,” he said. “They are not under Canadian military jurisdiction.”
The Brigadier General added that DND and CAF stand ready to assist federal partners with their investigations.
“Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our members and our responsibilities regarding the defense of Canada. We are ready to work with the department.”
Block Quebec MP Christine Normandin I asked Boucher if there was a risk that Canadian and NATO military strategies could be learned by Chinese pilots through training allegedly conducted by former fighter pilots.
“I think there is always the possibility of risk. In fact, our pilots are working with other NATO members and allies, Canadian forces and other allies, and of course allies’ concerns regarding these allegations. ,” Boucher replied.
“That said, we trust our members, and we want to trust our retirees, and we hope to maintain our obligations under data protection law.”
Jenny Li, Olivia Li, and Andrew Chen contributed to this report.