Federal employee arrested in Swift Current facing breach of trust, fraud charges

An employee with the federal department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was arrested and charged in Swift Current more than two years ago following an investigation by the RCMP's national security enforcement section.

21-month investigation was led by RCMP national security enforcement section

RCMP say a federal employee was arrested and charged in Swift Current, Sask. on Nov. 19, 2019 following a 21-month investigation by its national security enforcement section. (CBC)

RCMP say a federal employee arrested and charged in Swift Current more than two years ago is facing breach of trust and fraud charges.

In a Friday news release, police said Yantai Gan, 65, of Kelowna, B.C., has been taken into custody following a 21-month investigation led by the RCMP's national security enforcement section. The investigation was initiated in February 2018, it said.

On Nov. 19, 2019, RCMP federal policing executed a search warrant on an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada facility in Swift Current.

A search warrant was also conducted the same day at a home in Swift Current.

Gan was arrested and charged that day.   

RCMP said he was an employee of the federal department at the time of his arrest.

Charged with breach of trust

He has been charged with breach of trust by a public officer, fraud over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000.

Gan is due to make his next court appearance on the charges this coming Monday in Swift Current.

RCMP said in the release that they were not prepared to comment further at this time because the matter is now before the courts.

A spokesperson for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provided CBC with a statement Friday.

"Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is aware of the charges and fully co-operated with the RCMP throughout the course of the investigation. As the matter is now before the courts, no further comment will be made at this time," the statement said.

At the time of his arrest, Gan was a research scientist at the department's Swift Current Research and Development Centre.

Royal Society of Canada fellow

In 2019, he was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

The society described Gan as an internationally renowned scientist in agro-ecosystems who invented a pulse-based, "integrated suite" of farming technologies.

It said the adoption of the novel "suite" has "fundamentally shifted Western Canadian agriculture into a more sustainable and resilient system, with significant eco-environmental and socioeconomic impacts."

The society said carbon footprint models he developed have been adopted by policy-makers and scientific communities worldwide to quantify carbon sequestration to soils in various farming systems.