Nova Scotia

2 more Ontario men charged with trafficking and exploiting Nova Scotia women

RCMP have charged two Ontario men with trafficking and exploiting Nova Scotia women, arrests made as part of a national investigation called Operation Hellbender.

Both men arrested in recent days in Nova Scotia as part of national investigation

Nova Scotia RCMP have charged two more Ontario men in an 18-month national human trafficking investigation. The latest charges follow the arrest of a 31-year-old man in May.

On Friday, RCMP arrested a 31-year-old Vaughan, Ont., man in Onslow, N.S. Two days later, officers arrested a 29-year-old Scarborough, Ont., man in Dartmouth, N.S.

"Human trafficking is definitely a concern for the RCMP, however we can only act on information that we receive and in this particular case we had information and we were able to launch this investigation," said RCMP Supt. Alfredo Bangloy.

Both men face a slew of charges. They include:

  • Trafficking in persons.
  • Receiving a material benefit from sexual services.
  • Receiving a material benefit from trafficking in persons.
  • Laundering proceeds of crime.

The second man is also charged with possession of the drug Percocet. Both men were scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court Monday.

Yearlong investigation

In a news release, RCMP said by arresting and charging the accused, they are removing them from a position to exploit more women and girls in Nova Scotia and across Canada.

The police investigation, called Operation Hellbender, started in April 2016 after police received information that men originally from Nova Scotia who had relocated to Ontario were recruiting, trafficking and exploiting women from Nova Scotia in the sex trade across Canada.

Nova Scotia RCMP, along with Halifax Regional Police, worked with RCMP from B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland in the investigation.


With files from CBC Radio's Mainstreet