Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux has clarified another minister's claim about the "infiltration" by a criminal organization of a Laval group home where four teenage girls have gone missing.
"What she wanted to say is not that there is a network, but that there is the possibility of recruitment being done externally through social media," Coiteux told Radio-Canada.
- Teenage girls in care targets of street gangs, prostitution rings
- Laval teen who went missing from group home found safe
Lucie Charlebois, the Quebec minister responsible for youth protection, said Thursday that the Centre de jeunesse de Laval had been a target of an organization.
"A network has infiltrated this particular group home," said Charlebois.
Police believe the teenagers from the Centre de jeunesse de Laval may have been targeted for sexual exploitation.
Two of the teenage girls have been found, but two remain missing.
'It's a little bit of sensationalism'
Julie Perron-Hamilton, vice-president of the Centre de jeunesse de Laval, blasted Charlebois for her comments, saying that all youth centre and group homes have runaways.
"It's a little bit of sensationalism to say that our youth centre was filtrated by a street gang," Perron-Hamilton told Radio-Canada.
Perron-Hamilton says recruitment by prostitution rings or street gangs aren't limited to groups homes or youth centres.
"Some will approach them at the entrances of youth centres or even internally," Perron-Hamilton said. "But some of them are in schools and metro stations.
"They are everywhere."