TORONTO: Court documents show an RCMP raid on the offices of top Ontario Provincial Police union leaders was part of an investigation into allegations of theft, fraud and laundering of proceeds of crime.
Search warrants and production orders related to the March 6 raid say there are “reasonable grounds for believing” the offences have been committed, along with criminal breach of trust and fraudulent concealment.
Warrants were issued for searches at several locations, including the Ontario Provincial Police Association’s offices in Barrie, Ont., three vehicles registered in its name and a Toronto travel company.
The documents were initially sealed by the Ontario Superior Court but released by a judge today.
No charges have been laid but the criminal investigation has prompted several senior union officials to step aside.
The union said earlier this week its president Jim Christie and vice-president Martin Bain, whose offices were searched, have taken voluntary leaves of absence.
The union’s chief administrative officer, whose office was also searched by the RCMP, has been placed on administrative leave.
The Ontario Provincial Police Association said in a statement it had fully co-operated with the criminal investigation by handing over items identified in the search warrant.
On Monday, RCMP Const. Jean Juneau said the investigation was in its preliminary stages and “there are absolutely no charges pending right now.”
© 2015 The Canadian Press