Canada RCMP officer charged with security breach tied to Rwanda espionage activities News
Canada RCMP officer charged with security breach tied to Rwanda espionage activities

An Alberta Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer has been charged for his alleged role in a foreign interference operation, according to a RCMP media released on Tuesday. Constable Eli Ndatuje faces charges of breach of trust, unauthorized computer use and breaching security safeguards under the Security of Information Act.

The charges stem from an ongoing investigation by the RCMP Federal Policing Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET). INSET allege that Ndatuje illegally accessed non-classified RCMP computer systems to provide information to a foreign entity. If convicted, Ndatuje faces a maximum five-year prison sentence for breach of trust and a one-year sentence for unauthorized computer use. The security breach charges hold a maximum 14-year sentence upon conviction.

Ndatuje had his first court appearance in Calgary Provincial Court last week. As the criminal proceeding is now before the courts, the RCMP declined to provide further comment. However, the allegations point to the most serious forms of espionage targeting Canadian national security.

“The arrest of Eli Ndatuje may change the attitude of the Canadian authorities who do not take the threats of the Rwandan regime seriously,” says David Himbara, who has been seeking a Canadian police investigation of Rwanda’s harassment of him since 2019.

Notably, the allegations tie Ndatuje’s activities directly to the Rwandan government. A recent 115-page report from Human Rights Watch documented the Rwandan regime’s transnational repression of dissidents. In the report, Human Rights Watch detailed over a dozen cases of killings, kidnappings and attempted kidnappings, enforced disappearances, and physical attacks targeting Rwandans living abroad. The report also found that Rwandan officials monitor and pressure critics abroad, conduct extraterritorial killings and attempted kidnappings of opponents living overseas. It concluded that Rwandans everywhere, regardless of location, reasonably fear repercussions simply for exercising free speech or engaging in non-violent political dissent.