The Situation Room – Former RCMP officer’s tusk smuggling is an outrageous act

Mac Olsen

It’s a sad state of affairs when somebody who served in law enforcement uses their position for financial gain.

In this case, it’s a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Gregory Logan, who was charged and convicted with smuggling the ivory tusks of Arctic whales, known as narwhals, from Canada into the U.S.

The Globe and Mail had a story about this on Sept. 20. As per the story:

“Nearly two decades after he first came to the attention of a wildlife investigator, a retired RCMP officer has been sentenced to more than five years in jail for laundering the proceeds of a massive ivory smuggling scheme that brought hundreds of narwhal tusks from Canada to the U.S.”

In Canada, Logan was convicted of ivory smuggling and received a fine and house arrest. Later, he was extradited to the U.S. where he received a five-year and two-month prison sentence for money laundering.

The story also says Logan had been posted in what is now Nunavut and “learned that narwhal tusks could be purchased from Inuit co-operatives.”

But narwhal are considered a threatened species and it is illegal to import their parts into the U.S. for commercial purposes.

Also in the story – and if true, it is the most blatant act committed – Logan used the RCMP’s letterhead and faxed a buyer in the U.S. that their sale was legal.

Check the Sept. 20 edition of The Globe and Mail for further details.

It is immoral and inexcusable for somebody who served in a law enforcement capacity to exploit their position to gain financially from a threatened species.

Moreover, the fact that Logan used the RCMP letterhead to encourage a buyer to complete an illegal transaction is morally reprehensible.

In Logan’s case, so much for the motto, ‘To serve and to protect’.

How can somebody like Logan look at himself in the mirror and not feel guilty? How can he engage in such conduct?

But when I speak of Logan, I am not portraying all RCMP members and other law enforcement services, currently serving and retired, in the same light.

I am sure that they, too, are outraged about Logan’s conduct – and I share it with them.

It’s the same for legitimate hunters who abide by a code of ethics, such as fair chase, and who despise poachers as I do. But legitimate hunters are often portrayed by anti-hunting groups and animal rights activists as poachers with no regard for the animals they harvest – shooting animals indiscriminately, wasting the carcass or taking only the head and antlers for the trophy.

So legitimate hunters have to demonstrate that they abide by the regulations and follow a code of ethics – and denounce poachers for their conduct.

In cases like Logan’s and poachers, I am glad when they are caught and convicted. They have to be denounced for their misconduct. They have to be held accountable for what they do to wildlife, especially those that are threatened with extinction.

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