Canada arrests man for human trafficking of 14 women

Written by By Bethan Cammett, CNN A man suspected of illegally exploiting 14 women has been charged in Toronto. The alleged network — thought to operate in the United States and the UK –…

Canada arrests man for human trafficking of 14 women

Written by By Bethan Cammett, CNN

A man suspected of illegally exploiting 14 women has been charged in Toronto. The alleged network — thought to operate in the United States and the UK — is believed to have lured women from the Middle East with promises of a better life and then forced them into sex slavery.

Five women were found by Toronto police after a court-ordered search of the Yonge Street apartment building in which they were living on Wednesday. One woman was already dead.

Police confirmed that at least 14 women were brought into Canada for this purpose and ultimately had been imprisoned there against their will for the last three years.

The youngest of the women was about 11 and the oldest was in her early 20s, said Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders.

Yonge Street near York University was closed on Thursday morning as police continued their investigation. A gaggle of photographers and media members gathered around a police car outside the luxury building.

Edmonton Justice of the Peace Ian Skylstad granted an extradition request from Canada on Thursday morning.

The woman, along with the man accused in her homicide, has been charged with one count of human trafficking and 14 counts of sexual assault with a weapon.

Police said they believe there are more victims. Saunders said the investigation is ongoing and that if anyone saw any suspicious activity and has not spoken to police, they are urged to call 9-1-1.

The investigation began in February.

Police said on Thursday that they discovered the victims in February when another court order forced Yildirim and his family to give police information.

“It’s a complex network we’re working through,” Saunders said.

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