Arabnews24.ca:Tuesday 25 July 2023 04:09 AM: William Majcher, a retired RCMP officer charged with foreign interference, is due back in court today. Here's what we know about the accused.
Majcher, 60, was arrested Thursday in Vancouver. Authorities allege he "used his knowledge and his extensive network of contacts in Canada to obtain intelligence or services to benefit the People's Republic of China," says an RCMP news release.
The release also said Majcher allegedly "contributed to the Chinese government's efforts to identify and intimidate an individual outside the scope of Canadian law." Both alleged offences fall under the Security of Information Act.
An RCMP investigator told CBC the alleged incidents occurred between 2014 and 2019. The charges are not related to election interference.
Majcher first appeared in court in Longueuil, Que. by video conference on Friday. He will appear again Tuesday to set a date for a bail hearing.
I wanted some adventure and excitement in my life.William Majcher talking about joining the RCMP
In a speech to Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club in 2014, Majcher described growing up in a "typical Canadian middle-class family." He graduated from St. Mary's University in Halifax with a commerce degree in 1984, according to the website of one of the companies he manages.
In his 2014 speech, he said he moved to London, U.K. to work as a bond trader but returned to Canada to join the RCMP a year later. Majcher said he'd wanted to be a Mountie since he was a young boy.
"I wanted some adventure and excitement in my life," he said.
Majcher's LinkedIn page says he worked on a number of money laundering investigations as a covert operator while serving with the RCMP. He was with the force from 1985 to 2007.
In an affidavit he filed in an unrelated case before the Supreme Court in 2017, Majcher wrote that he'd spent most of his career "infiltrating and surveilling major organized crime and money laundering operations in Canada, the United States and elsewhere overseas." The affidavit says he's received letters of commendation from the RCMP, the FBI and other police agencies.
RCMP Insp. David Beaudoin told CBC that Majcher spent most of his RCMP career in B.C. and spent some time in Ottawa.
The 2017 affidavit also says Majcher worked undercover at the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.
Beaudoin said the investigation and court proceedings are taking place in Quebec because Majcher didn't work for the force in that province.
Former RCMP officer charged with foreign interference on behalf of China
In 2006 Majcher moved to Hong Kong, where he has been working as a risk assessment adviser for the investment banking sector, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The 2017 affidavit says that since his retirement from the RCMP, Majcher has "assisted several government agencies" on a number of issues, including asset recovery and money laundering.
According to his profile on a Hong Kong-based speakers website, Majcher has represented "a number of Chinese state-owned and non-state owned enterprise clients."
In 2019, Majcher appeared before a U.K. all-party parliamentary group looking into cyber security. According to the minutes of that meeting, Majcher indicated that the Chinese government is one of his "major clients" and he was working to help recover $1.2 trillion US in funds acquired through fraud.
In 2016, Majcher founded a corporate risk firm called EMIDR. The company's website lists state-sponsored espionage, intelligence gathering and money laundering as some of its areas of expertise. It also says the firm specializes in asset recovery.
An Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) article from 2019 said Majcher was part of Project Dragon, a Chinese operation to recover money allegedly siphoned out of the country illegally.
In the article, Majcher is quoted as saying he is a "hired gun" for governments and corporations looking to "get back what is rightfully theirs."
But when ABC asked Majcher if he was working for the Chinese government, he said he had to be "careful" with his wording. He said he was working for third-party "entities" associated with Chinese police "in some form or another."