Every year the Canadian Banks' Law Enforcement Award recognizes outstanding police performance in fighting crime against Canadian banks. Recipients of this prestigious award have gone above and beyond the call of duty while preventing and investigating crimes against Canada's financial institutions.
Since 1972, the Canadian Bankers Association has awarded 269 awards to Canadian police officers. The Award is presented annually at a formal ceremony at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
Protecting the security and safety of its employees and customers is a priority for the Canadian banking industry. Crimes affecting our banks range from robbery to high tech and highly organized fraud operations. Together our financial institutions and law enforcement agencies continue to partner in combating crime every day.
For more information on how you can help protect yourself from financial crime, click here.
The awards are presented to all active sworn members of law enforcement (active duty at the time of the incident), including Special Constables and sworn auxiliary Peace Officers.
The CBLEA is the highest award presented by the CBA to a sworn member of law enforcement (includes Special Constables and sworn auxiliary Peace Officers) for exceptional, achievement in an investigation involving the banking industry.1 This would include acts of bravery, courage and demonstrated resourcefulness in order to overcome investigative obstacles and extenuating circumstances to bring an investigation to a successful conclusion.
This award can be presented to an Individual or Group (Team). The criteria for nominations are as follows:
Individual: This award is presented to a member of law enforcement for a unique investigation (not just high profile) involving the banking industry. The officer has displayed exceptional diligence in order to overcome obstacles and extenuating circumstances. This award may also be presented in cases where the officer knowingly placed themselves at great risk (threat of serious bodily harm or death, imminent danger etc.) during the protection of life involving a bank employee, customer or bank property.
Group (Team): This award is presented to sworn members of Law Enforcement (includes sworn auxiliary Peace Officers) working in a group/taskforce/team investigation involving the banking industry. The results of the investigation (Project) demonstrate exemplary performance in overcoming extraordinary circumstances resulting in a successful conclusion to the investigation. Examples could include investigations for Robbery against a Bank (Branch) where employees and customers may be at risk, or fraudulent acts against a Bank or Banks, by an organized criminal group.
For more information about the criteria for the CBLEA and the nomination form, please click here.
Constable Kaine Mildenberger, Detective Tenzin Tsering and Detective Mark Enright
Organized Fraud Cases – Toronto Police Service, Financial Crimes Unit (Group Award)
Between July 2017 and September 2018, a series of complex and organized frauds were perpetrated by organized criminal groups operating in the Greater Toronto Area. Three major fraud cases involving identity theft, account takeover and synthetic account openings all had significantly impacted the financial industry, with a particular focus on one a large Canadian bank. In all cases the fraudsters used malware, phishing and social engineering techniques to illegally obtain the personal and financial information of businesses and individuals, resulting in collective losses exceeding $770,000.
As a result of three rigorous investigations by the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit’s Organized Crimes Section, in collaboration with the impacted bank, Detectives Tsering and Mildenberger were instrumental in identifying and disrupting the crime groups and ultimately bringing those responsible to justice. The CBA and affected banks commend the Toronto Police Detectives for their exemplary efforts, keen observation and innovative approach to solving these convoluted cases, which resulted in five arrests, several search warrants, numerous fake identifications revealed, and several client profiles recovered.
Winners of the group award are: Detective Tenzin Tsering and Constable Kaine Mildenberger
Armed Robbery Case – Detective Mark Enright, Calgary Police Service (Individual Award)
From May to December 2018, a male suspect armed with a knife robbed customers using the Automated Banking Machine (ABM) at a Calgary bank branch eight times. The perpetrator waited for a lone customer to enter an ABM vestibule, concealing himself to limit his exposure on CCTV cameras. OnOnce they were inside, he brandished his K knife, robbed them, blocked their escape and threatened them before escaping on foot. Focusing on one bank in particular, the suspect continued these brazen acts throughout 2018 with all of the robberies occurring under the cover of darkness in the early morning hours, causing considerable concern in the community and among bank staff and customers.
On December 28, 2018, Detective Mark Enright, on his own initiative and after his regular shift, conducted a thorough static surveillance operation. He observed a suspicious male walk in the direction of the bank, noting that this person was dressed in similar clothes as described in previous robberies. Detective Enright observed the suspect don a mask, hiding near the branch waiting for his next victim. He kept the suspect under observation and called for assistance. While waiting for back-up, the suspect attempted to flee the scene. Detective Enright pursued him on foot, noting that the suspect was armed with a knife. During the foot chase the suspect fled into an alley, where Detective Enright prevented the suspect’s escape, allowing for his arrest. He subsequently searched for and located the discarded weapon, and later obtained a confession to 16 robberies, half of which were committed in the previous year.