Winnipeg police arrest human trafficking suspect after tip from counterparts in Quebec

A suspect is in custody facing human trafficking charges after he was arrested by Winnipeg police at a short-term rental property on Hargrave Street Thursday.

Police said they were tipped off by their counterparts in Quebec that a woman at the suite may have been a victim of trafficking.

Winnipeg officers found the 18-year-old woman Thursday evening, along with the 24-year-old suspect, who was arrested without incident.

According to an investigation by the Winnipeg counter-exploitation unit, the suspect met the victim in a Montreal bar in early January, and police allege he manipulated her into believing they were in a romantic relationship.

Within three months, police allege, the suspect had transported the victim west to four Ontario cities and eventually to Winnipeg, preventing her from leaving hotel rooms of vacation rentals in each city. He’s also accused of keeping her ID and cellphone and of physically assaulting her to prevent her from leaving on several occasions.

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Click to play video: 'Human trafficking warning signs'

Human trafficking warning signs

Police allege the man then forced the victim to work for him as an escort, collecting money in exchange for sexual services.

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The victim was able to contact a friend in Quebec on Thursday, who called local police. They, in turn, contacted the Winnipeg Police Service, leading to the arrest.

The man, originally from Calgary, has been charged with a number of offences, including human trafficking, material benefit from sexual services, procuring a person to provide sexual services, advertising sexual services, forcible confinement and assault.

The victim was safely returned to Quebec in the care of family members.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba RCMP share tips to identify, prevent youth from falling for human trafficking schemes'

Manitoba RCMP share tips to identify, prevent youth from falling for human trafficking schemes


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