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Woman Rescued from Human Trafficking Scheme in Winnipeg

March 26, 2024 10:18 AM | News

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Winnipeg police have charged a Calgary man after rescuing a woman being held against her will.

Officers were alerted by Quebec police on March 21 that the woman may be a victim of human trafficking.

Police performed a well-being check at a short-term vacation rental in the 300 block of Hargrave Street, where they located the 18-year-old woman. They also located the 24-year-old male suspect within the suite and placed him under arrest.

Police learned the suspect had met the victim in a Montreal bar in early January and manipulated her to believe they were involved in a romantic relationship.

Throughout March, the suspect transported the victim to four cities in Ontario, working westward and ending in Winnipeg. The victim couldn’t leave hotel rooms or vacation rentals in each location as the suspect held her personal identification and cell phone. Police say, on several occasions, the suspect physically assaulted the victim to prevent her from leaving.

The victim was forced to work as an escort selling sexual services through a social media advertisement that the suspect created for her. The suspect arranged meets between clients and the victim and collected sums of money from the sexual services provided.

On the same day police visited the Winnipeg residence, the woman had contacted a friend in Quebec, who alerted police.

Malik Regele Marc, 24, of Calgary, has been charged with multiple offences. He remains in custody.

The victim is now in the care of family members back in Quebec.

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