November 22, 2022

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A 40-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Toronto, police say.

Toronto police said in April, officers began investigating an alleged human trafficking incident.

Police said a woman allegedly recruited Mexican nationals with the promise of work and housing in Canada.

Officers said when the people she recruited arrived in Toronto, she allegedly confiscated and withheld their travel documents and lodged them within several homes across the city.

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Police said the woman “exploited the victims’ immigration status in Canada.”

Officers said she facilitated the victims’ employment and “significantly garnished their wages.”

According to police, the woman also allegedly assaulted and threatened one of the victims.

Police said on July 6, officers executed search warrants in the York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue area, and in the Birchmount Road and Lawrence Avenue East area.

Police said as a result, 40-year-old Luz Adriana Gonzalez Valbuena from Toronto was arrested.

She has been charged with three counts each of trafficking in persons, material benefit and withholding documents.

The accused has also been charged with one count each of possession of property obtained by crime, threatening death and assault.

According to police, she appeared in court on July 7.

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“As a result of the investigation, the Toronto Police Service have made contact with over 40 potential witnesses and victims,” police said in a news release. “Through partnerships with Victim Services Toronto, FCJ Refugee Services and the Canada Boarder Services Agency, the potential witnesses and victims have been offered resources and support.”

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Police said investigators are concerned there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.



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