RCMP breaks up Canada-wide prostitution ring
Published Wednesday, April 1, 2015 6:08PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2015 6:51PM EDT
The RCMP says it has broken up a Canada-wide prostitution ring that smuggled hundreds of Asian women into the country.
Six people were arrested between March 27 and April 1 in the Greater Toronto and Montreal areas, according to the RCMP.
The accused are several “key players” and main leaders of an Asian-based international criminal organization, authorities said.
Over an unspecified period of time, the group allegedly brought more than 500 women, mostly from Korea and China, into the country illegally. The women were sexually exploited through various bawdy-houses, RCMP said.
RCMP Const. Erique Gasse said the women were kept in “unspeakable living conditions.”
“They came to Canada on their own choice but quickly realized that the conditions were not that good,” he said at a news conference Wednesday.
Gasse said the ring operated in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Investigators seized computers, cell phones, vehicles and money as part of the investigation.
Kai Chen, Nan Wu, Le Yu, Anyang Cui, Daegun Chun and Ying Li are facing criminal charges, including material benefit from sexual services, advertising sexual services and procuring. Two of the accused, Jeonghwan Seo and Melanie Williams-Johnson, are still wanted by police.
The alleged ringleaders will appear in court Thursday.