Two arrested in ongoing international Human Trafficking investigation,
Man and woman face 15 charges,
Photographs of man and woman released
Broadcast time: 11:26
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Case #: 2017-302641
In February 2017, members of the Toronto Police Service Human Trafficking Enforcement Team started an ongoing international Human Trafficking investigation.
It is alleged that:
- in May 2016, the victim travelled to Toronto for a job as a receptionist
- the victim met with both accused in Toronto about the receptionist job, however she was offered a job in a massage parlour as a masseuse because the receptionist job was no longer available
- the victim was coerced into selling sexual services while performing massages
- her passport was taken from her
- these sexual services were advertised on backpages.com.
- the two accused were able to convince the victim to turn over all the money she earned to them for safekeeping
- the victim confronted the two accused and was violently choked and assaulted
On Thursday, October 19, 2017, members of the Human Trafficking Enforcement Team executed search warrants at several locations in Toronto. Officers also located documents including, allegedly, the victim’s passport.
Sonia Fernandes-DaCunha, 40, of Toronto, was charged with:
1) Trafficking in Persons
2) Procuring/Exercising Control
3) Financial/Material Benefit
4) Material Benefit from Sexual Services
5) Withholding Documents
6) Advertising Another Person’s Sexual Services
7) Possession of Proceeds of Crime
8) Laundering Proceeds of Crime
9) Forcible Confinement
10) Assault with a Weapon
Ruben Ernesto Aburto Soza, 40, of Toronto, was charged with:
1) Trafficking in Persons
2) Financial/Material Benefit
3) Material Benefit from Sexual Services
4) Withholding Documents
5) Laundering Proceeds of Crime
Sonia Fernandes-DaCunha and Ruben Soza appeared in court at College Park on Friday, October 20, 2017, room 507.
Police would like to encourage all affected individuals to come forward and report Human Trafficking occurrences to police. We want to make sure that everyone has access to support services and an exit strategy, regardless of their decision to proceed criminally.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
Human Trafficking means every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, for a sexual purpose or a forced labour purpose. Victims can be men, women or children; can be Canadian citizens; and can be moved across local, provincial or national borders. They can be coerced through violence or the threat of violence against family and friends. The Human Trafficking Enforcement Team of Sex Crimes is dedicated to investigating these crimes against vulnerable members of society. For more information, please visit the Sex Crimes website.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Constable Craig Brister, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Nunzio Tramontozzi, Sex Crimes