Mexicans-born 64 nationals have been rescued from an international labour trafficking ring that was operating in Ontario and several people have been charged.
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At the scene of the crime
Deputy police chief Alvaro Almeida confirmed that the information learned through Project Norte was “just as disturbing as it is compelling.”
Sixty-four of them were subject to deplorable living conditions with no way out. The saving staff was shocked at the conditions they were living in.”
These workers are coerced with promises of a better life, decent wages, quality housing, and eventually documentation.
York Regional Police release this photo from the human trafficking ring where Mexican’s were allegedly being exploited for labour. York Regional Police release this photo from the human trafficking ring where Mexican’s were allegedly being exploited for labour. York Regional Police.
Crime in disguise
In November 2022, police said they learned that Mexicans were being exploited for labour in the region by an organized group of criminals.
Investigators said that the workers were being driven back and forth from terrible living conditions to worksites in private buses that were also in a state of disrepair.
“The victims lived in squalor and were compelled to work long hours for little pay, while their exploiters reaped the benefits of their labour and lived in luxury,” police allege.
A few months later, on Feb 8, several police forces across the GTA executed search warrants at five properties in Vaughan, East Gwillimbury, Toronto and Mississauga.
Officers rescued 64 workers, a mix of men and women in their 20s to 40s who were being exploited, police said.
“It’s not one specific group, it really is a variety of victims that have been found in this case,” said York Regional Police Det. Sgt. Gary McBride who specializes in human trafficking.
The 64 victims did not all come at one time and each individual situation varies.
A director for CBSA, David Glos, would not elaborate on what happened to the Mexicans after they were rescued but said officials are taking a “victim-centric approach on this case and there is empathy for these victims.”
The concealing status
Victims of human trafficking are typically referred to immigration, refugees and citizenship Canada for interviews for possible temporary residence visas.
Five people, three men and two women, were arrested, police said.
The accused have been charged with multiple counts of trafficking persons, material benefiting as a result of human trafficking, participation in a criminal organization, and sexual assault, among other charges.
Two more people who are also Mexican nationals are wanted by police and are still at large. Investigators said they are looking for 31-year-old Juan de Jesus Rosales Gomez and Luis Alberto Garcia Galvan, unknown age. Police said warrants have been issued for their arrest.
Right from the deputy chief of police
All that has been established so far other than the rescue of the traffic victims is that If anyone suspects a farm, factory, warehouse or any other business mistreating foreign workers please report it to the police something that even showed up in the official report of Almedia.