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3 Edmonton suspects charged with human trafficking; 2 teens rescued | Globalnews.ca

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A friend of a 17-year-old girl from Saskatchewan who ALERT believes was lured to Edmonton to be a sex worker alerted police and helped rescue her, along with a second teen.

Three Edmonton suspects are now facing “various human trafficking charges,” according to the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team.

ALERT’s human trafficking unit got a tip in May about a teenager from Saskatchewan being lured to Edmonton to work in the sex industry.

“This young girl had been in contact with a friend, who acted quickly to get Edmonton police involved,” a July 10 ALERT news release said.

“Police were able to rescue her before she was physically sexually exploited,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Hayes.


Click to play video: 'Young Edmonton couple faces human trafficking charges after teenager comes forward'


Young Edmonton couple faces human trafficking charges after teenager comes forward


The initial call for help was made to Edmonton police. The investigation then led to ALERT’s human trafficking unit.

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A second teenager was identified during the investigation, ALERT said. This teen “had been lured from British Columbia and was coerced into working in the sex trade,” ALERT alleged.

On June 28, two homes and three vehicles were searched. Police seized electronic devices, two loaded handguns, nearly $50,000 and almost 90 grams of cocaine.

A follow-up investigation is looking more closely at the firearms and will determine how they were obtained, ALERT said.

The accused are 29-year-old Christopher Mucheni, 22-year-old Lauren Wise and 30-year-old Demsey Lorquet-Maura.

ALERT did not provide a photo of the third person accused.


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Canada marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day


“Investigators also interviewed a third teen, as well as a 19-year-old woman,” Hayes said, adding ALERT believes the two were being groomed by the suspects.

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“We were able to intervene and both young women are receiving the appropriate supports,” Hayes said.

ALERT said some signs to watch out for that might indicate human trafficking are:

  • Wearing new clothing and accessories without money to pay for them;
  • Distancing themselves from family and friends;
  • Leaving home to travel to other cities;
  • Being secretive about their whereabouts;
  • Having new friends that little is known about.

Victims of sexual exploitation can report it to the Edmonton Police Service by calling 780-423-4567 or 9-1-1 if they are in immediate danger.

Alternatively, anyone seeking support is encouraged to contact the Safety Network Coordinator with CEASE at 780-471-6137.

There is no time limit on how long a victim has to report a sexual assault in Canada.


Click to play video: 'Edmonton International Airport staff trained to spot human trafficking'


Edmonton International Airport staff trained to spot human trafficking


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