Four people from throughout Ontario are facing several charges related to human trafficking after police investigated reports of suspected labour trafficking across three provinces.
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Ontario Provincial Police have arrested four individuals in a labour human trafficking investigation linked to Ontario, Alberta and Quebec in what they have dubbed Project Foxtrot.
Police say the investigation started on Feb. 13, when they received information of suspected labour trafficking involving foreign nationals from Mexico who were being exploited.
According to police, the victims were recruited online and promised work permits and good-paying employment in Canada.
Police say the victims were expected to work at various recycling facilities in Red Deer, Alta., North Bay and Sault Ste Marie, Ont., and Levis, Que.
Investigators found that the victims were housed in several short-term rentals around Canada and in the basement of one of the accused people in Simcoe County.
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Payment for the accommodation was taken from the victims’ wages, which were less than had been promised, police allege.
On May 16, multiple police forces, both provincially and regionally, executed search warrants at locations throughout Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area.
Police arrested a 72-year-old from Toronto, a 33-year-old and a 27-year-old from Simcoe County, and a 53-year-old from Halton.
All four face multiple charges related to human trafficking.
Police say the three male victims, aged 27 to 42, were provided services through the OPP IJFS Victim Specialist and FCJ Refugee Centre.
OPP encourages anyone who knows of someone being trafficked to call the police.
The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking has resources available for victims and survivors of human trafficking on its website.
A national hotline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-833-900-1010.
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