By TAMARA CHERRY, TORONTO SUN
Last Updated: October 11, 2010 6:25pm
The alleged head of a crime family wanted in a massive human trafficking investigation was slapped with police bracelets over the weekend.
Ferenc Domotor, 48, was arrested in the Hamilton area Saturday, a day after police announced arrest warrants for him and nine members of his family.
They’re wanted in connection with Canada’s biggest human trafficking investigation since the Criminal Code charge came into effect five years ago.
As of Monday, police had identified 19 victims, alleging they were trafficked from a small Hungarian town to Hamilton and forced to work for the Domotor family’s construction company without pay.
According to investigators, men brought from Hungary were coached on how to claim refugee status.
They also alleged traffickers made the victims file for social assistance and stole their payments.
The victims were kept in basements, restricted in where they could go or speak with and had threats made against them and their families in Hungary, police alleged.
Domotor is charged with human trafficking and fraud.
“We believe they are in the Hamilton area but we fear some may have left the country,” a police source said Monday of the outstanding family members.
Explaining why the investigation took 10 months before the arrest warrants were announced for human trafficking charges, the source said: “It’s not an investigation of a bag of coke. It’s an investigation of human beings. And these people have fears, they have families and they have threats. And you really as a police officer have to ensure these people that they’re safe or else they’re not going to come forward...
“We need our justice system on board, that’s huge. The justice system needs to learn what human trafficking’s about.”
Also wanted on charges of trafficking in persons and fraud are: Ferenc Domotor Jr., 20, Gyongyi Kolompar, 40, Gizella Kolompar, 41, Lajos Domotor, 42, Ferenc Karadi, 47, Gizella Domotor, 42, Attila Kolompar, 35, and Gyula Domotor, 32.
Zsanett Karadi, 24, is wanted for theft.
Not only is this the biggest human trafficking bust in Canada, but if the charges stick, they will be Canada’s first involving forced labour. The country has seen several human trafficking cases involving sex trafficking, mostly of Canadian women and girls.
This could be the first case brought to the courts on forced labor in Canada and it is the largest human trafficking case to date in the country. Ten people are being charged in the case and at this point, 19 victims have been identified. They came from a small village in Hungary and were forced to work in the family's construction firm. They were restricted in who they were allowed to talk to, they were kept in basements and the Social Service money they received from the state was confiscated by the traffickers. The victims families were also threatened should the victims not comply. The investigation took 10 months and it seems that unfortunately some of the family members may have already fled the country. Despite these setbacks, this case is sure to be monumental in the fight against human trafficking and forced labor in Canada.