ORILLIA – City police officers were involved in an FBI and RCMP-led international investigation to end human trafficking.
The effort has led to rescuing a half dozen people from the sex trade, including two people under the age of 16.
Operation Northern Spotlight had some 46 police services across Ontario participate, which resulted in a dozen people being charged with 21 offences.
Those charges included advertising another person’s sexual services, receiving material benefit from sexual services, keeping a common bawdy house and trafficking in persons.
The Cornwall Community Police Service was involved in the Ontario operations, which were coordinated by the O.P.P. headquarters in Orillia.
“During Operation Northern Spotlight, police meet with individuals suspected of being in exploitative situations. They are provided contacts and information for community-based support agencies and are offered both immediate and future police assistance to leave the exploitation. The program is not intended to engage those who are not being exploited,” the O.P.P. said in a statement.
In addition to the FBI and RCMP, police force were Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipines, Cambodia and the United Kingdom were involved.