Woman, 40, charged in connection with human trafficking investigation in Toronto: police – Toronto
A 40-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Torontosaid the police.
Toronto police said in April officers began investigating an alleged human trafficking case.
Police say a woman is believed to have recruited Mexican nationals with the promise of jobs and housing in Canada.
Officers said when the people she recruited arrived in Toronto, she allegedly confiscated and withheld their travel documents and deposited them in a number of homes across the city.
Police said the woman “exploited the victim’s immigration status in Canada.”
Employees said she had facilitated employment for victims and “dramatically cut their wages.”
According to police, the woman is also accused of assaulting and threatening one of the victims.
Officers executed search warrants in the area of York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue on July 6, as well as Birchmount Road and East Lawrence Avenue, police said.
Police said Luz Adriana Gonzalez Valbuena, 40, from Toronto was arrested.
She has been charged with three counts of human trafficking, material gain and withholding documents.
The defendant has also been charged with one count of criminal misappropriation, death threats and assault.
According to police, she appeared in court on July 7.
“As a result of the investigation, the Toronto Police Department contacted more than 40 witnesses and potential victims,” police said in a press release. “Through a partnership with Toronto Victims Services, FCJ Refugee Services, and the Canadian Boarding Services Agency, potential witnesses and victims have been provided with resources and support.”
Police said investigators were concerned there could be more victims.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police or Crime Stoppers.
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