43 human trafficking victims freed in Canada

February 12, 2019 | Brainwave Science

43 human trafficking victims freed in Canada

SITUATION

43 victims of human trafficking have been rescued following a lengthy investigation in Barrie and Wasaga Beach. On Tuesday, officers executed 12 search warrants in Barrie and Wasaga Beach. As a result, 43 labour human trafficking victims, mostly men, between the ages of 20 and 46 were freed.

The victims were born in Mexico and had paid large sums of money to traffickers to leave their home country and be transported to Canada. The victims were brought to Canada under the pretence of education or the promise of work visas and eventually permanent residency status.

However, once in Canada, they were made to live in squalid conditions in Barrie and Wasaga Beach and were forced to work for a cleaning company. The victims were transported to and from work, which was in Collingwood, Innisfil, Oro-Medonte and Cornwall.

The traffickers controlled the victim’s wages and charged them for accommodation and transportation. After paying the various fees, workers would be left with minimum compensation, sometimes less than $50 a month. The cleaning company is believed to be run by two individuals in the Barrie area, however, the officers seek more suspects.

Once freed, the victims were given food, access to a hot shower, clean clothing and were medically assessed. The victims have been re-housed and provided legal employment at a local resort.

According to Barrie police Chief Kimberly Greenwood, a “significant portion of time” was spent considering the immediate and long-term needs of the victims.

“We are always in a position of if there are victims that are being human trafficked, whether that is through forced labour or through the sex trade, we encourage them to come forward and report it to police,” Greenwood said.

This is an ongoing investigation that is quite complex and if victims are identified through our investigation, then we will certainly connect with them and ensure they have their needs met whether they may be immediate or long-term needs. According to police, the investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are expected to be pressed later.

CHALLENGE

Trafficking in persons is prohibited under the Criminal Code and involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation. Trafficking in persons can take many forms including sexual exploitation and forced labour (UNODC 2016Karam 2016). The commodity being bought and sold is people. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery,

Exploitation is the key element of this offence. Human-trafficking victims are often from extremely vulnerable populations, including migrant workers and new immigrants.

According to police-reported data, there were a total of  865 victims of human trafficking between 2009 and 2016, in Canada. Of all the victims, 70% were females under the age of 25 years. The number and rate of human trafficking incidents have steadily increased since 2010.

Human trafficking is difficult to measure, due in part to its hidden nature. While there has been an increase in the number of human trafficking incidents reported by police in recent years, human trafficking remains highly underreported for many reasons.

Victims are usually in a physically, socially, or economically vulnerable position, making them unwilling or unable to report to police. Traffickers sometimes deliberately implicate victims in humiliating or illegal activities to keep them from reporting; for example, humiliating sexual acts, use of illicit substances and fear of exposure to family members or authorities. Physical force or psychological techniques are used to intimidate victims; for example, increasing a victim’s sense of isolation and dependence by removal of forms of identification or threatening of family members. Some victims distrust police; for some victims, police in their native countries may have returned them to the traffickers, potentially leading to severe repercussions from the trafficker. Victims may have language barriers or may be unaware of their legal rights.

The anti-trafficking agencies must approach the problem from another angle. They must make use of modern investigative tools and scientific methods to quickly screen suspects. Such a method must also help them to understand the hierarchy and structure of the arrested suspect’s criminal organization, thus helping to gather valuable intelligence about the organization and discovering the high-value individuals among the arrested persons.

WHY BRAIN FINGERPRINTING?

A US-based company, named Brainwave Science, headquartered in Massachusetts has come up with a scientific way to deal with interrogation and investigation. The solution is called Brain Fingerprinting. It is applicable in more than 85% of all civil and criminal cases. This makes it extremely valuable in the field of forensics. In comparison to DNA and fingerprinting, where samples are only uncovered in 1-2% of all cases. Brain Fingerprinting is highly accurate. It reports its results with an astounding accuracy of more than 99.9%. Brain Fingerprinting requires minimal effort and cost to set up and operate. The test administrator does not need to be specially qualified.

The USP of Brain Fingerprinting is that it elicits unimaginable amount of intelligence from an arrested suspect without subjecting him or her to any torture. In fact, during the short 45-minute test, the test subject does not interact at all with the test administrator. He or she is merely made to look at pictures, images, words or phrases related to the crime being investigated. A headset quietly records the brain reactions to each of these verbal or pictorial stimuli and transmits them to the computer, where they are received and analyzed. The computer detects the presence of crime-related information in the brain of the test subject and at the end of the test, reports the outcome in two forms: either ‘information present’ or ‘information absent’.

In this case, the arrested suspects must be made to undergo a Brain Fingerprinting test. The investigators must have investigated prior to the test in order to supply relevant stimuli. The stimuli can be details of the trafficking methods, routes, advertisement methods (regarding education, work visas, permanent residency) and cash transactions required to get the victims from Mexico to Canada, pictures and details of the areas where the victims were forced to work (cleaning company owned by two suspects) and to live, etc.

Brain Fingerprinting is a technology which is not only applicable to human trafficking, but it is also applicable to areas like national security, law enforcement, counterterrorism, border security, drug trafficking, and immigration.

The Canadian anti-trafficking agencies must use Brain Fingerprinting upon arresting suspects in order to quickly gain intelligence, narrow down on the most likely suspect, discover his or her links with the larger organization, understand his or her rank in the organization, discover past crimes which the individual might have committed using the database analysis techniques which are inbuilt in the software.

Brain Fingerprinting can reduce overall investigation costs by more than 75%. With a reduced cost and workforce requirement, the investigative departments can do justice to other equally pressing matters.

Main Source: GlobalNews

Image Source: Barrie360