Montreal police are scrambling to retrieve a stolen USB drive containing confidential information related to a division known as the Eclipse squad, which fights organized crime in the city.
The drive was stolen on Dec. 17 from a car belonging to Cmdr. Patrice Vilceus, one of the top officers in the squad, sources told Radio-Canada.
Although investigators are not fully certain of the contents of the data, they may relate to past, current or future police operations.
The confidential sources also told Radio-Canada the data does not contain information about the recent resurgence of violence among gangs, which resulted in several homicides in a short time period.
The value of this information to organized crime remains unclear.
Longtime member of police force
According to Radio-Canada, Vilceus is highly regarded in the police force, boasting a spotless 20-year career. He has led several investigations, including internal ones, which led to disciplinary action against officers,
Montreal police, the Montreal Police Brotherhood and Pierre Moreau, Quebec's acting minister of public security, have all declined to comment.
The breach comes after security procedures were tightened in 2012. The police created a security and integrity unit after a retired officer, Ian Davidson, was suspected of trying to sell the names of informants to the Mafia.