Two Vancouver-area police officers are being detained in Cuba for a criminal investigation involving a 17-year-old girl.
Global News has learned that the teen, an Ontario resident, complained that one of the vacationing officers, a member of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), assaulted her near Varadero more than a month ago.
Both the VPD and the Port Moody police confirmed that an officer from each of their departments was taken into custody in Cuba.
“The Cuban system works like this. There are no charges until the conclusion of the investigation and that investigation can take a long time,” legal expert Richard Kurland told Global News.
“They’re just caught between a rock and a hard place… until the investigation concludes they’re in legal limbo.”
The incident is alleged to have taken place in mid-March. The VPD officer and his friend, a Port Moody officer, were detained at the time and eventually released from jail.
However, both the VPD and Port Moody officers have had their passports seized and they can’t leave the country.
The Port Moody officer is allegedly a material witness.
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner is monitoring the situation, and will decide whether or not to launch an investigation once it has more information.
The VPD has sent an officer to Cuba to investigate. Sources say the alleged victim has returned to Canada.
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