Nova Scotia police participate in national human trafficking investigation where 32 charged
Operation Northern Spotlight also involved the FBI and 53 Canadian police services
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Police in Nova Scotia joined 53 Canadian police services and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to participate in Operation Northern Spotlight last week.
In a media release, Nova Scotia RCMP described the operation as an ongoing initiative to identify victims of human trafficking.
This year’s project was conducted over a six-day period last week throughout the country.
Forty police agencies from Ontario, 15 other police services and several RCMP municipal detachments across Canada participated in this phase of Operation Northern Spotlight.
During the coordinated investigations, police charged 32 people with 78 offences. Police were also able to ensure the safety of 16 people who had been working in the sex trade as minors or against their will, including 14, 15, and 16-year-olds.
In the Halifax region, a total of 17 women, ranging in age from 17-36 years old, were interviewed by the vice unit of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division.
A total of 391 officers and support staff combined to interview 379 people – who were mainly women, but included one male and two transgender people.
The RCMP said charges include: Exercise Control, Make Child Pornography, Distribute Child Pornography, Forcible Confinement, Trafficking in Persons, Material Benefit Resulting from Trafficking in Persons, Withhold or Destroy Documents, Living off the Avails, Assault, Utter Threats, Obstruct Police, and Failure to Comply with Court Orders and Conditions including Breaches of Recognizance and Probation.
Participating Nova Scotia police agencies included Halifax District RCMP, Halifax Regional Police, Cape Breton Regional Police and Eskasoni RCMP.