Then-Canadian Brigadier General Daniel Menard addresses the media in 2010 in Kandahar. Menard is being detained in Afghanistan for alleged gun smuggling, media said Thursday. (Owen W. Budge / AFP)
OTTAWA, CANADA — A former Canadian brigadier general and head of Canadian forces in Afghanistan is being detained in Afghanistan for alleged gun smuggling, media said Thursday.
Daniel Menard resigned from the military after pleading guilty in 2011 to having an affair with a female corporal under his command on active duty.
He now works for security firm Garda World, whose spokesman Joe Gavaghan told the Toronto Star newspaper Menard was picked up by Afghan authorities on or about Jan. 12 after a meeting with Afghan officials.
“He was leaving a meeting at the ministry office and a couple of officials approached him. They said, ‘We’ve got a problem with something and we’d like you to come with us to clear it up.’ Off he went and the next thing he knew he was going to be detained until they cleared it up,” said Gavaghan.
Gavaghan said his detention relates to an “administrative misunderstanding” over the private security firm’s licensing to operate in the country.
“It’s been cleared up and we believe that the individual is going to be released very shortly,” he added.
The daily Globe and Mail cited Kabul police chief Gen. Zaher Zaher saying Menard was being held for “gun smuggling.”
The Canadian government told AFP, “Consular services are being provided to a Canadian citizen who has been detained in Afghanistan.”
However it would not confirm the person’s identity nor the circumstances surrounding his detention.
Menard was relieved of his command of Canadian troops responsible for Kandahar region in May 2010 due to the affair with the female master corporal.
The Canadian Forces forbid intimate relationships during deployments.
Canada ended its combat mission in Afghanistan a year later in 2011, closing the curtain after nine years and the deaths of 157 soldiers.
Menard has managed Garda’s operations in Afghanistan since November 2011, according to the company’s website.