Halifax, August 15, 2018 – Seven dedicated police officers with the Toronto Police service were honoured yesterday evening for their exceptional contributions to the investigation of crimes against banks in Canada, their employees and clients.

The Canadian Bankers Association presented two awards as part of the Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA): a Group Award was presented to six Toronto officers who are members of the Toronto Police Hold Up Squad for their efforts in tracking down and arresting the Mercedes Bandits, and an Individual Award was presented to Police Constable Arvind Sidhu for his thorough investigation of a complex credit card fraud case. The awards were presented at the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Halifax last night.

“These awards are our way of recognizing and celebrating the tireless work of police officers and their cooperation with banks to protect Canadians against financial crime,” said Malcolm Chivers, Director of Corporate Security, Canadian Bankers Association. “We work as a team, continue to adopt leading techniques and remain ever-vigilant to safeguard bank customers over the long-term.”

About the Award Recipients

The Mercedes Bandits – Toronto Police Hold Up Squad (Group Award)

Between November and December 2017, a pair of men robbed two financial institutions at gunpoint in the Toronto area using a silver Mercedes as a getaway car. The robberies involved coercing staff and discharging a firearm, causing injury and financial loss.

As a result of a thorough investigation by the Toronto Police Hold Up Squad, using investigative techniques including video surveillance, mobile surveillance, witness interviews, forensic evidence, and cellphone and vehicle GPS tracking, officers were able to identify the suspects. Arrests of both men were made as they were on their way to conduct a third robbery. Both suspects pled guilty, were convicted and have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Winners of the group award are: Detective Steven Campbell, Detective Constable Paul Mills, Detective Joseph Matys. Detective Paul Moreau, Detective Constable Graham Knill, and Detective Kevin Sedore.

Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud Case – Police Constable Arvind Sidhu, Toronto Police Service (Individual Award)

Beginning in late 2016, Police Constable Arvind Sidhu started an investigation to catch a criminal who had fraudulently applied and used over half a dozen credits cards from a number of banks across Canada. Through identity theft, forgery, and an elaborate network of mail forwarding and false addresses, he maxed out each card, with a loss of approximately $100,000.

The officer’s diligent investigation resulted in the arrest of the individual but Police Constable Sidhu continued to pursue the case on his own time even after being re-assigned to other duties. His thoroughness in following up yielded a connection to a number of other cases, revealing that the perpetrator had an extensive criminal history in the United States dating back to 1988, with financial fraud totaling in excess of $1 million. The suspect was convicted of several serious criminal offences and was sentenced to a period of incarceration in addition to a lengthy term of probation for each charge He is currently in immigration custody and awaiting deportation back to Nigeria. His refugee status has been revoked.

Pictured left to right: Police Constable Arvind Sidhu, Detective Steven Campbell, Detective Constable Paul Mills, Toronto Police Service

About the Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award

Since its creation in 1972, 266 Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Awards have been presented to officers for their outstanding bravery, dedication and other noteworthy achievements in combating crimes against Canada’s banks. Award recipients are nominated by their peers, other law enforcement agencies and bank members across Canada. For additional information, please visit www.cba.ca/award.

About the Canadian Bankers Association

The Canadian Bankers Association is the voice of more than 60 domestic and foreign banks that help drive Canada’s economic growth and prosperity. The CBA advocates for public policies that contribute to a sound, thriving banking system to ensure Canadians can succeed in their financial goals. www.cba.ca

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Aaron Boles
416-362-6093 ext 350

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