78 arrested in Ontario human trafficking probe
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2017 12:49PM EDT
LONDON, Ont. -- Police in southwestern Ontario say 78 people have been arrested in a human trafficking investigation.
London, Ont., police say 18 women who were involved in the sex trade as a result of alleged human trafficking were assisted during the investigation -- dubbed Project Equinox -- that began on Oct. 4, 2016.
They say the alleged victims -- ranging in age from 15 to 55 -- were relocated to a safe place away from their alleged traffickers and provided with supports.
Investigators say they concentrated on three aspects of human trafficking -- identifying people who were answering escort ads, suspects engaged in human trafficking, and possible victims.
They say a total of 129 criminal code charges were laid, including four human trafficking charges and 24 drug charges. Thirty-five alleged customers were also charged.
Police say officers seized drugs, cash and weapons, including knives, an expandable baton and a rifle.