Toronto police raid brothels and strip clubs in human trafficking operation

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Four women arrested and four accused prostitutes held after operation in nightclubs and strip clubs

Police in Toronto have charged a man with human trafficking, false imprisonment and assault following a two-month-long investigation.

Police said they arrested four women on Tuesday following a sweep of 13 properties as part of a series of raids on suspected brothels, strip clubs and massage parlours in the Toronto area.

Officials executed search warrants at seven strip clubs, a nightclub and three massage parlours as part of a human trafficking investigation.

“The investigation has resulted in charges of multiple people working within the industry, trafficking in persons, false imprisonment and assault,” said police in a statement.

Authorities also seized clothing, jewelry, a handgun and a quantity of fentanyl, an opioid.

Four women, ages 22, 36, 42 and 44, are in custody facing charges, while the male suspect was charged with trafficking in persons, false imprisonment and assault.

Lise Martin, who represents the Toronto police services board, told reporters that police “are not talking about how many [prostitutes] they have, but they are fairly certain that there are more that are not being charged”.

She added that police expect more people will be charged as the investigation continues.

The Toronto police chief, Mark Saunders, said police are conducting “coordinated sweeps of brothels that have been operating illegally”.

He added: “When the police see these windows open, someone walking around unloading fresh money, they know they are doing something, and we want to shut it down.”

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