Huge York Region human trafficking ring bust, 31 charged in GTA, Quebec
According to York Regional Police, 31 people have been arrested and more than 300 charges are being laid in a huge multi-provincial human trafficking ring bust by an organized crime group.
In this investigation called ‘Project Convalesce’, as informed by York police, hundreds of charges have been laid following a year-long investigation in Greater Toronto Area and Quebec.
Police said that the “Project Convalesce,” was launched in October 2018 after two female victims of human trafficking contacted them for help.
The “kingpin”, was identified by police as Jonathan Nyangwila, of this huge human trafficking ring and some women were attempting to hide from the police, according to Police.
“Those two women were involved with Jonathan Nyangwila previously, they tried to escape him,” Insp. Thai Truong told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday morning.
He said that the women were so terrified to speak out. They were not ready to cooperate with investigators initially.
Eventually the investigation led to multiple suspects alleged to be involved in a “large, multi-provincial human trafficking ring.”
In partnership with OPP, Peel Regional Police, the Toronto Police Service, and the Quebec Integrated Human Trafficking Task Force, investigators said they identified various suspects involved in this crime, including three of Nyangwila’s brothers.
Further he said that the stolen money was used to pay for food, rooms, and transporting the women.
According to the information, a total of 31 suspects were arrested and the police was able to identify 45 different women involved in human trafficking.
“We have seen the horrific things that are happening to these women. They are controlled in every way imaginable,” he said.
“I can tell you that they are controlled emotionally, they are controlled through violence, through threats of violence. They are controlled through drugs and alcohol.”
“They are being forced to work while they are on their menstrual cycle,” he said. “From morning to night they are being told, directed to work even when they are not wanting to work.”
Resources are being provided to help the victims identified in the investigation.
“We give them every resource possible to try and assist them. It is a long, gruelling process,” he said. “It takes years of work and therapy.”
Nyangwila, 28, is facing dozens of charges, including trafficking in persons, fraud,criminal harassment, and trafficking in property obtained by crime.