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RCMP denies US consulate claim

The RCMP is denying a claim that the extensive Olympic security duty compromised ongoing drug investigations.

A Feb. 12, 2009, classified memo by the United States consulate in Vancouver, obtained by WikiLeaks, said: “A (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) agent was told by one of his RCMP counterparts that by September all regional drug agents could be working on Olympics, with no investigations ongoing until March 2010. Already the RCMP has all but stopped marijuana-related investigations”.

Const. Michael McLaughlin said the RCMP Drug Enforcement Branch remained active despite contributing significant resources to the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.

“We were still working on current investigations, still taking on new cases, still answering the phones and still working on overtime when required,” McLaughlin said.

A request to interview Dep. Comm. Gary Bass, the B.C. RCMP commander, was not fulfilled.

The memo from Consul General Phillip Chicola said U.S. officials were working with VANOC and V2010 ISU “with an eye toward any possible further assistance we can provide should the needs arise”.

V2010 ISU Chief Bud Mercer said in November 2009 that he met quarterly with U.S. Maj. Gen. Tim Louwenberg and Laura Laughlin, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Seattle office.

The U.S. State Department rented an entire floor at 1133 Melville St. for its Olympic command centre because a 1995 Presidential directive requires the State Department to protect American interests at Olympics. The International Olympic Committee relies on American sponsorship and broadcast fees.

WikiLeaks claims it obtained 44 Vancouver consulate cables and many are Olympic-related.

Bob Mackin is a reporter for 24 Hours.

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