Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Canadian Human Trafficking Ring Busted

From the National Post:

The ongoing investigation into a human trafficking ring by Toronto police resulted in two more arrests Wednesday.The arrests followed after police carried out a search warrant at an address on Bude Street, near the junction of Allen Road and Eglinton Ave. W.

The two men, Alexander Vinokurov, 44, and Vadim Kostin, 52, are from Toronto. They are facing charges related to human trafficking, communicating for the purpose of prostitution and living off the avails of prostitution. Both men are to appear in court Thursday.

Police allege women from Eastern Europe were lured into entering Canada on false passports, under the impression that they would be working as models.

After their arrival they were confined against their will and forced to work as escorts. Police said they performed prostitution-related activities for the people in charge of the trafficking operation. Police have now charged six people, including a husband and wife, since the start of their investigation a week ago. Police have also identified two alleged victims.

Andrei Khazarov, 39; Daniel Leshinsky, 38; Artur Boris Tomchin, 35, and his wife, Volha Vassilievna Venar, 35, all from the Toronto area, face numerous human trafficking related charges.

This is only the second time Canadian police forces have laid charges from the country's new anti-human trafficking legislation, which came into effect in November 2005.

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