Eleven police officers awarded Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award for fighting financial crimes

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

MONTREAL, July 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dedication, courage, teamwork and innovative law enforcement techniques in fighting financial crimes earned 11 police officers the Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA), awarded today by the Canadian Bankers Association at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Project Royal – Detective Constables Michael Kelly and Timothy Trotter, Toronto Police Service

In winter 2016, Detective Constables Michael Kelly and Timothy Trotter of the Toronto Police Department discovered a fraud and money laundering operation with links to North America, Africa and Asia. The value of criminal proceeds associated to these activities was estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.

The two officers launched Project Royal, to identify the individuals involved in this organization, decipher their relationships with one another and uncover the true extent of their crimes.

Through their diligent investigation, Detective Constables Kelly and Trotter were able to place five individuals under arrest and dismantle the transnational group of criminals responsible for significant losses to Canadian financial institutions. The remaining members of this syndicate were placed under investigation by various international law enforcement agencies.

The Bayfield Case – York Regional Police, Toronto Police Service, Belleville Police Service, Halton Police Service and Cobourg Police Service (Group Award)

Joint investigations by York Regional Police, Toronto Police Service, Belleville Police Service, Halton Police Service and Cobourg Police Service led to the capture of a lone assailant who had committed seven bank robberies in Southern Ontario.

Coordinating between five different law enforcement agencies, officers tracked their suspect's crimes until April 4th, 2016, when a pair of eyeglasses were recovered at the scene of the latest robbery, in Burlington, Ontario. The information on the glasses allowed police to positively identify 40 year old Zak Bayfield as the perpetrator. He confessed to the robberies and admitted to having planned more.

Winners of the group award are: Detective Alec Tompras (York Regional Police), Detective Constable Dan Moore (York Regional Police), Detective Sebastian Cultrera (York Regional Police), Detective Constable Paul Mills (Toronto Police Service), Detective Steve Smith (Toronto Police Service), Detective Joe Matys (Toronto Police Service), Detective Sergeant Pat Kellar (Belleville Police Service), Detective Constable Alan MacEwan (Halton Police Service), and Detective Constable Amy Sharpe (Cobourg Police Service). 

CBA Quote

“The number of bank robberies in Canada has been decreasing over time.  This is evidence that the deterrent measures the banks are taking are working and that the police are doing a great job of apprehending these criminals,” said Malcolm Chivers, Director of Corporate Security, Canadian Bankers Association. “These awards are our way of celebrating this relationship by recognizing the great work police do to prevent, detect and respond to financial crime.”

About the Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award

Since its creation in 1972, 259 officers from across Canada have been honoured with the CBLEA for their outstanding bravery, dedication and other noteworthy achievements in combating crimes against Canada’s banks. For additional information, please visit www.cba.ca/award.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 64 domestic banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 280,000 employees. The CBA advocates for effective public policies that contribute to a sound, successful banking system that benefits Canadians and Canada's economy. The Association also promotes financial literacy to help Canadians make informed financial decisions and works with banks and law enforcement to help protect customers against financial crime and promote fraud awareness. www.cba.ca.

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