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Investigation into senior RCMP official stemmed from disruption of encrypted phone service: sources

Mercedes Stephenson, Stewart Bell and Sam Cooper

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WATCH: (Sept. 14) There are new details in the case of Cameron Ortis, the RCMP intelligence director accused of leaking secrets

The arrest of a senior RCMP official was the fruit of a 2018 international police operation that targeted the encrypted communications service Phantom Secure, sources have told Global News.

An outfit that sold untraceable smartphones to criminals so they could evade police, Phantom Secure was dismantled last year by authorities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand.

READ MORE: RCMP acknowledges concern from allies after senior intelligence official charged

The arrest of Phantom Secure CEO Vincent Ramos in Washington State in March 2018 led police to sensitive RCMP information that had been offered up for sale, according to the sources.

While Ramos did not know the identity of the person allegedly brokering the RCMP information, Canadian investigators traced it to a list of suspects who had access to it, the sources said.

READ MORE: RCMP intel director charged in major case was top adviser to former force head, sources say

On Thursday, the RCMP arrested one of its own at ....