Early next month, during Grand Prix weekend, Montreal will target human sex trafficking in a police operation coordinating forces that include the city’s own force, RCMP, several south shore forces, CBSA, Aéroports de Montréal, etc.
Human sex trafficking is big, lucrative, international criminal business where trafficked women are worth about $280,000 each to the criminal gangs according to a 2013 RCMP study.
Credible information by the Canadian Women’s Foundation found that most Canadian victims are female some as young as 14, poor, with low level education, and come mostly from broken families, where violence, neglect, and sexual abuse is rampant.
During Montreal’s Grand Prix Formula 1 weekend women are more targeted because sex tourism is in full swing as the city hosts this international event.
This year our police forces are also enlisting, training, and coaching civilian staff at most hotels, aeroports, various transport services, and others in how to spot the indicators of human trafficking.
Some of these subtle signs are:
– Individuals being escorted and watched, usually by rough, shady type men or sometimes “professional” women criminals.
– Women displaying visible injuries or bruises while accompanied by their escorts.
– Malnourished looking individuals who seem dazed or out-of-place.
– Women who express fear or intimidation either vocally or through their body language.
Trafficked women have long been afraid, and remain afraid of reporting to the police because of threats by their pimps to physically harm them.
“Sexual exploitation Victims are vulnerable having been victimized their whole lives,” according to the Montreal police.
“We don’t want to contribute to their victimization instead our intended strategy is concentrated on apprehending those responsible, the people who use, manipulate, and profit from these vulnerable women.
Many young women are forced against their will into modern day sexual slavery, unpaid prostitutes servicing clients in dance clubs, sleazy massage parlors, or escort agencies day after day, and are beaten by their handlers/pimps at whim.
Life for these slaves normally results in drug addiction, mental health problems, and social dysfunction moreover, they feel stigmatized, judged as valuable only for sex, some actually believing they are enduring all this because they are in love with their pimp.
Recent statistics by The Global Slavery Index indicate that during 2016, on any given day, there were 17,000 people in Canada living in conditions considered modern slavery.
The gangs, because organized crime requires a group of like-minded individuals, daily activities typically may include unauthorized firearms possession, uttering threats, drug trafficking, forcible confinement, pimping, in addition to human trafficking.
For example, a very recent police operation on Montreal’s south shore by the Longueuil force resulted in the arrest of seven people while a woman, the eight suspect, remained at large.
This criminal group kidnapped, forcibly confined, and forced a 40 year old woman at gunpoint to prostitute herself to “johns”while imprisoned in a “bawdy house” apartment.
After her rescue, the result of a tip to police from a local resident, and much surveillance providing grounds for a warrant to raid the apartment, the poor, seriously traumatized, woman needed serious psychological and other help for her terrible experience.
Police were searching the apartment suspecting it as a drug trafficking site where illegal firearms may be found when they happened on the poor human sex trafficking victim.
Featured picture shows lost young woman’s bra folded laying on cement steps on Montreal’s Crescent Street famous for Grand Prix Formula 1 activities including sex trafficking.