Montreal

Longueuil police seek more victims in forced prostitution case

Police are looking for other women who may have been victims of a criminal network they say has been involved in human trafficking, drugs and violent crime.

5 suspects, who police say are known for violent crime, are in custody

Longueuil police spokesperson Ghyslain Vallières said an anonymous tip last January led them to investigate activities in an apartment building in Old Longueuil. (Radio-Canada)

Longueuil police are looking for other women who may have been victims of a criminal network they say has been involved in human trafficking, drugs and violent crimes. 

In mid-April police made eight arrests in a case of drug trafficking, forcible confinement, and sexual exploitation, said police spokesperson Ghyslain Vallières.

The arrests came after an anonymous tip last January led them to investigate activities in an apartment building in Old Longueuil. After several weeks, they obtained a warrant to search for firearms and items related to drug trafficking.

"What we found inside the apartment was a woman around 40 years old who had been kidnapped and they were using her as a prostitute," Vallières said. 

The woman, who had physical injuries and was in a state of shock, was taken to a hospital and continues to receive counselling, Vallières said.

Police arrested six men and a woman between the ages of 21 and 34. They are still searching for another female suspect.

"Most of them were well known by police services," Vallières said. "They are known for using violence when they commit their crimes."

They face a string of charges, including careless use of a firearm, drug trafficking, and forcible confinement.

Two suspects were released on bail, but the other five in custody did not seek bail and will remain in jail until their next court appearance.

Vallières said anyone with information about the network or who know of other addresses where similar activity may be occurring should call 911.