Another high-ranking Montreal police officer target of internal criminal investigation
MONTREAL – At the Montreal Police department, the new year is starting off much like the old one ended: with a controversy.
An internal criminal investigation is underway which again involves an experienced police officer who may have sold information to criminals.
Last October, former police officer Benoit Roberge was charged for his alleged links to the Hells Angels biker gang.
On Wednesday, police revealed that Sgt.-Det. Philippe Paul is under scrutiny for possibly supplying information to a reported Iranian-Canadian businessman.
Global News has learned that the RCMP, CSIS, and U.S. Homeland Security is taking part in the probe.
“It’s not a happy moment for us,” Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said on Thursday.
“The person targeted by the investigation has been moved to a different duty. Why? Because we don’t want him to be in contact with delicate information, with very sensitive information.”
Reports say the officer in question worked with the force’s organized crime division, suggesting that the officer is someone who dealt with informants on a regular basis.
Police stress Sgt.-Det. Philippe Paul has not been charged, just reassigned.
“This investigation dates back four years, it’s an important one,” Cmdr. Lafreniere said.
The Montreal police force has been in damage control mode for several months.
In addition to Roberge, Inspectors Jimmy Cacchione and Giovanni Di Feo were suspended this summer for their alleged links to criminals.
In January 2012, retired officer Ian Davidson killed himself after news of his suspicious activities became public.
The repeated allegations of police corruption are affecting police morale in the province.
“I’m angry, I’m personally angry,” former Surete-du-Quebec lieutenant Francois Dore told Global News.
“I gave most of my life, half of my life to public security as a police officer, so I’m in shock.”
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