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Federal authorities announced Wednesday they'd struck against two major cells of the network in the last five days and arrested six people in the greater Montreal and Toronto areas. The accused are allegedly part of an Asian-based organized crime ring that operated bawdy houses in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
They face a host of charges including procuring, procuring minors, advertising sexual services and gaining a material benefit from sexual services. Other immigration-related charges could be laid later as well as serious gangsterism charges. Police say the alleged victims, mainly from Korea and China, received assistance from a criminal organization to enter the country either illegally through land crossings or with student and visitors visas obtained under false pretences.
They were then controlled and exploited by the prostitution ring and would be put to work across the country, said RCMP Const. Erique Gasse.
Asian women smuggled into canada as part of prostitution ring: rcmp
Gasse told reporters the women were aware they were coming to Canada to work in prostitution, but were told it would be under decent working conditions. The RCMP hasn't been able to pinpoint an exact of victims, but said there could be as many as The contents of computers and cellphones confiscated during 16 police seizures may shed light on a list of clients.
Two alleged ringleaders were arrested and flown to Montreal from Toronto on Wednesday and are to appear in court Thursday. Two people remain on the lam - a year-old man from Toronto and a year-old woman from Montreal.
Two clients arrested during the operations will also face charges of being found in a bawdy house. Authorities say they also seized two vehicles and an important sum of cash.
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