Ottawa man charged with 76 human trafficking charges in massage parlour probe
Ottawa police have charged an Ottawa man with 76 human trafficking offences following a lengthy investigation into an organized prostitution and human trafficking ring.
They have identified 17 women as victims.
Police say in late April, they discovered the prostitution/human trafficking operation during a community safety project focusing on massage parlours.
“A follow-up investigation identified links between several locations which advertised sexual services," said Sgt. Jeff Leblanc with the Ottawa Police Human Trafficking Unit.
Police executed search warrants for three locations. The first was in the 1-100 block of Charles St., the second in the 2000 block of Merivale Rd., and the third in the 900 block of York St.
Police say two of the three locations were operating as massage parlours.
As a result of the investigation, 33-year-old Zhao Liu of Ottawa has been charged with 76 criminal offences linked to 17 adult female victims who have been identified.
His charges include recruiting for human trafficking, receiving material benefits from human trafficking, procuring persons to provide sexual services for consideration, advertising another person’s sexual services, and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.
Four victims, all women, were located by police during the search warrants which were executed on Monday. They have all been interviewed by police.
Police also seized $14,000 in cash, and arrested a second adult suspect, a woman who has been released without charge.
The police investigation is ongoing.