Arrest made in Human Trafficking Investigation,
Steve Coelho, 38,
Police concerned there may be more victims
Broadcast time: 00:30
Friday, June 19, 2020
Case #: 2020-884424
The Toronto Police Service Human Trafficking Enforcement Team would like to advise the public of an arrest in a Human Trafficking investigation.
It is alleged that:
- a twenty-year-old woman met a man on social media and began an intimate relationship
- the man introduced the woman to an escort agency and encouraged her to work in the sex industry
- while working in the sex industry the man controlled all of her earnings and profited from the money she earned
- the woman attempted to leave the agency but the man refused to allow her to quit
- the man applied for bank accounts and credit cards under her name which he used to purchase luxury items
On Monday, June 15, 2020, investigators from the Toronto Police Sex Crimes-Human Trafficking Enforcement Team executed two search warrants in Toronto and Steve Coelho, 38, of Toronto was arrested. He is charged with:
1. Advertising Another Person's Sexual Services
2. Material Benefit From Sexual Services
3. Forge or Falsify A Credit Card
4. Fraud Exceeding $5000/Specific Victim
5. Uttering Threats
6. Harassment By Repeated Communication with Person
7. Fail to Comply with Probation
He was scheduled to appear in court at 2201 Finch Avenue West on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
Police are concerned there may be more victims.
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, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.
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 Jenifferjit Sidhu, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant David Correa, Toronto Police Service– Sex Crimes, Human Trafficking Enforcement Team