British Columbia

2 Metro Vancouver police officers arrested on vacation in Cuba

Two B.C. police officers — one from the Vancouver Police Department and one from Port Moody — were arrested while in Cuba during a vacation in March.

Arrests of Vancouver, Port Moody officers referred to Police Complaints Commissioner

The beaches near Varadero, Cuba are popular with Canadians. (Karen Tankard)

Two B.C. police officers — one from the Vancouver Police Department and one from Port Moody — were arrested while in Cuba during a vacation in March.

The officers were arrested in connection with an incident involving the alleged assault of a 17-year-old female.

No charges have been laid.

The Port Moody officer was released but remains in Cuba, said Sgt. Travis Carroll in a news release from the Port Moody Police Department. 

"[We] take all allegations of misconduct concerning our officers very seriously," said Carroll in the release.

The status of the Vancouver officer remains unclear.

Police complaints commissioner monitoring

The matter was referred to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.

Deputy Commissioner Rollie Woods said police alerted his office, which is awaiting more detailed information before deciding on whether or not to order an investigation.

"Members are accountable for their conduct at all times and anywhere they happen to be and are subject to investigation and discipline, if it is appropriate, pursuant to the Police Act," he told CBC in an email.

Woods also said he believes the Port Moody officer was detained as a witness.

"My understanding is the person or the officer that may be in some jeopardy for his actions there was the Vancouver member," he said, noting that his office has been given very little information and is still confirming details.

Passports confiscated

Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay said in an interview Thursday that his police department has been in touch with the officer's family and was told both officers had their passports confiscated "a few weeks ago."

The Port Moody officer is being held as a material witness, Clay said.

"Unfortunately, what we're told is that investigations move quite slowly and, in fact, we've been told that it could be up to 60 days before he might be allowed to leave the country," he said.

Consular officials also confirmed they are assisting the two officers and are in touch with local authorities, but could not say more due to privacy considerations.

With files from the Canadian Press