Published On: Fri, Oct 7th, 2016

Toronto man charged with human trafficking in Calgary investigation

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Toronto man charged with human trafficking in Calgary investigation

A Toronto man is in handcuffs and a woman coerced into the sex trade is now out after a months-long Calgary investigation into human trafficking.

In early June 2016, investigators with the Counter Exploitation Unit, the Calgary Airport Intelligence Team and the Hotel/Motel Unit conducted an operation to identify people who may be involved in the sex trade against their will.

The investigation led them to a 30-year-old woman who told police she was involved in an exploitive relationship and that she had been coerced into prostitution.

The victim told police she met a man in Toronto in 2013. Their relationship turned sour and abusive, and she told police she became dependent on him for money, medical help and a roof over her head.

The next year her boyfriend arranged for her to travel to Edmonton where she was expected to work the trade and send money back to him.

The victim alleges she was forced to travel across Canada for two years, working the trade and sending any money she made back to the suspect.

Police say she had been cut off from friends and family and denied routine medical attention. She was hospitalized on several occasions as a result.

During the course of the investigation, the woman was offered assistance through the Prostitution Exit Initiative that allowed her to break free of the sex trade.

The man has been brought to Calgary after a national manhunt that ended in London, Ont.

Shawn Powell Harris, 32, of Toronto was arrested and is now charged with human trafficking, material benefit from a trafficked person, material benefit in the context of a commercial enterprise, uttering threats, cruelty to animals, proceeds of crime, money laundering, procuring and advertising sexual services.

Powell will make his first court appearance on October 7th, 2016

Courtesy: Calgary Sun

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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