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Four people charged in labour human-trafficking investigation

Police were investigating information suggesting Mexican-born workers were being trafficked, defrauded by Barrie-based cleaning company
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2019-02-11 HT JO-005
A photo of the squalid living conditions endured by human trafficking victims. Contributed image

NEWS RELEASE
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
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Four Barrie residents have now been charged with several offences as part of ongoing labour human-trafficking investigation.

Since 2018, Ontario Provincial Police, Barrie Police Service, and Canada Border Services Agency were investigating information that suggested Mexican-born workers were being trafficked and/or defrauded by a cleaning company based in Barrie.

The 43 victims identified had been brought to Canada under the pretense of being here for either educational purposes or for the promise of work permits and eventual permanent residency status.

Police have now charged 54-year-old Patricia Zuniga Rojas Senior, 51-year-old Kevin Kielty 24-year-old Patricia (Patty) Camacho Zuniga Junior, and 19-year-old Ashley Camacho Zuniga, with the following offences:

  • Employ a foreign national without authorization, contrary to Section 124 (1) (c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Trafficking in persons, contrary to Section 279.01 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
  • Material benefit - trafficking, contrary to Section 279.02 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
  • Possession of property obtained by crime, contrary to Section 354 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and,
  • Participation in activities of criminal organization, contrary to Section 467.11 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The accused are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. The charges relate to the accused's involvement with RTL Services of Barrie - a company alleged to have supplied foreign nationals as forced labour to a number of unsuspecting businesses since 2015.

Police and community support advocates remind everyone that if they or someone they know believe is a victim of any form of human trafficking, to contact police or community victim services agencies for assistance. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Police at humantrafficking@barriepolice.ca , call 705-725-7025 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com

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