Manitoba traffic stop last year led police to human trafficking arrest

A Quebec man is behind bars facing human trafficking charges after a multijurisdictional arrest that included Manitoba RCMP.

The suspect, a 26-year-old from Laval, Que., was initially arrested in January 2021 by Headingley RCMP. His vehicle was pulled over just west of Highway 7, and police said a physical altercation appeared to have taken place between the driver and a passenger.

The driver resisted arrest, police said, and gave a false name. RCMP found weapons in the vehicle, and once they discovered the driver’s real name, found that there were multiple warrants for his arrest in Quebec and Ontario.

He was handed more than half a dozen charges in connection with that incident.

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On Tuesday, the same man was re-arrested in Kamloops, B.C., by an RCMP team that included Manitoba officers, after an investigation determined that the passenger in the original incident was a victim of human trafficking and was being transported out of Quebec.

He’s facing new charges of human trafficking, procuring to provide sexual services, and possessing material benefitting from sexual services. He has been taken back to Winnipeg.

“This is the type of crime that is not always easy to see,” said Sgt. Morgan Page of Manitoba’s major crime services.

“In this instance, an RCMP officer with our central traffic services unit was aware of what to look for and saw signs that this couple were not what they appeared to be and called us in.

“This was a great heads-up move by that officer, and we were able to liaise with police agencies in other provinces to further this investigation.”

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Human trafficking awareness – Feb 23, 2022

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