Investigators say people were forced to strip naked in Canada and Mexico as part of a sex slave ring
Police have charged a Canadian man in connection with a human trafficking investigation that left six women, including five from Nigeria, allegedly beaten and forced to strip naked.
Authorities said they began tracking the group after receiving calls in 2016 and 2017 from their parents who feared their daughters had been taken to Mexico, where their captors were also thought to be forcing them to become prostitutes.
Ontario Provincial Police spokesman, Detective David O’Brien, said in a statement on Friday that the investigation led to charges against 41-year-old Abraham Joshua Rodricks and one other woman, but he did not name the suspects.
“This investigation is still ongoing,” he said.
Police initially arrested Rodricks in the summer of 2017.
It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.
Court documents list Rodricks as a resident of a building in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood.
Patti Cox, a member of the neighbourhood association, said people in the area are shocked about the arrests.
“This is the kind of thing you see in a movie. This shouldn’t be happening on our street,” she said.
Nigeria’s Senate said earlier this month that it had received no response from the Canadian authorities on a parliamentary request to investigate the allegations.
“You know the kind of technology that they’re using now, how they can impersonate these girls and even a bank account number and pull that money out to different countries. It’s a real challenge,” said Stephen Orukwu, the Senate vice-chairman for national security.
Anyone who believes they were a victim of human trafficking or is in the UK with concerns should contact 101.