The Bank of Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2008 Law Enforcement Award of Excellence for Counterfeit Deterrence. Corporal Tim Laurence, Corporal Susan MacLean, and now-retired Staff Sergeant Ken MacDonald of the Integrated Counterfeit Enforcement Team, RCMP Toronto West, were honoured today during the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in Montréal, Quebec.

The recipients of the Award of Excellence were selected for their persistence and commitment to an investigation code-named Project Ophir, which resulted in the shutting down of the largest counterfeiting operation in Canadian history. The investigation focused on a highly organized and sophisticated group of criminals that was determined to be the source of over $6 million in counterfeit bank notes. Following the investigation, eight persons were charged and have since entered guilty pleas to various counterfeiting offences.

"Thanks, in large part, to the efforts of law-enforcement personnel across Canada and, specifically, the individuals we are honouring today, counterfeiting rates have fallen dramatically in Canada in the last four years," said Pierre Duguay, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada. "The Bank of Canada congratulates these officers for the very positive contribution they have made towards maintaining confidence in Canada's currency."

The Bank of Canada's Law Enforcement Award of Excellence for Counterfeit Deterrence was established in 2004 to recognize the work of Canadian law-enforcement personnel in deterring and preventing the counterfeiting of Canada's bank notes.

Note to Editors:

A photo from the awards ceremony is available on Canada NewsWire.