York Regional Police have charged a 44-year-old RCMP officer with human trafficking following an investigation into forced labour.
Police said the investigation started in April after a victim came forward to police and filed a report. Officers said the victim, who previously lived in Mexico, arranged to come to Canada for an employment opportunity.
When the victim arrived at the residence of his employer on Bayview Avenue in Georgina, Ont., he was allegedly made to work caring for animals under very poor working conditions that were not consistent with agreement.
Police said they arrested the accused, Israel Yahsif Mane Monter of the Town of Georgina, on May 3, and charged him with trafficking in persons, forgery, animal cruelty and possession of a prohibited device.
The RCMP issued a news release on Tuesday saying they are aware of the arrest of their constable, and noted that Mane Monter is a member of the RCMP’s Toronto North Transnational Organized Crime unit.
The RCMP said they are cooperating with the York Regional Police as they continue their investigation. They stated that Mane Monter has been suspended with pay, and that an internal investigation is active and ongoing.
Investigators with York Regional Police said they believe there may be additional victims who have been brought from Mexico under false pretenses. They are asking for those victims to come forward.
“Any victims who are hesitant to come forward due to immigration status concerns should be aware that they have the right to support and protection under Canadian law,” police said.
“Labor trafficking often occurs in situations where a victim comes to Canada with the promise of a well-paying job, education or other opportunities. Traffickers often use violence, threats, lies or other forms of coercion to force victims to work excessively long hours under unsafe and poor conditions for little or no money.”
Victims are asked to contact the Canadian Human Trafficking hotline at 1-833-900-1010. The hotline is described to be a non-judgmental, confidential, multilingual, 24/7 service used to connect human trafficking victims and survivors with long-term supports.
Police are also asking anyone with information or anyone who may have been a victim in this case to contact their human trafficking department at 1-866-8765423, ext. 6800, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.
The Canadian News
Canada’s largets news curation site with over 20+ agency partners