Update: The suspect in the case is a constable with the RCMP. For more information, click the link below.
A Georgina resident has been charged with human trafficking and other offences following a investigation into alleged forced labour.
According to the York Region Police, the investigation began in April 2022 after a victim came forward and filed a report.
“Officers learned that the victim was living in Mexico when he arranged to come to Canada for an employment opportunity,” reads a media release.
“The victim arrived at the residence on Bayview Avenue in Georgina, where he was made to work caring for animals under very poor working conditions that were not consistent with the agreement.”
Police say the accused was arrested on May 3.
“Provincial Animal Welfare Services were contacted and attended the residence to further investigate the care and well-being of the animals,” reads a media release.
Investigators believe that there may be additional victims who have been brought to Canada from Mexico under false pretenses.
“Any victims who are hesitant to come forward due to immigration status concerns should be aware that they have the right to support and protection under Canadian law,” the media release reads.
Yahsif Israel Mane Monter, 44, of Georgina has been charged with trafficking in persons, forgery – make false documents, cruelty to animals and three counts possession of a prohibited device.
Police noted that labour trafficking often occurs in situations where a victim comes to Canada with the promise of a well-paying job, education or other opportunities.
“Traffickers often use violence, threats, lies or other forms of coercion to force victims to work excessively long hours, under unsafe and poor conditions for little or no money, often against their will. In many cases the victims are vulnerable,” the media release states.
“They often do not speak English and do not know their rights in Canada or how to get help.”
The Canadian Human Trafficking hotline is a confidential, multilingual service that uses a victim-centered approach to connect human trafficking victims and survivors with emergency, transition and long-term supports, as well as receiving tips from the public.
The number is 1-833-900-1010 or visit https://www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca/
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact police at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6800 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS and www.1800222tips.com.