Longueuil drug raid uncovers case of forced prostitution
Longueuil police say a drug trafficking investigation has led to the discovery of a woman, who had been held against her will for months and was forced into prostitution.
“What we have found is there was an average of seven clients per day actually abusing that woman,” said Ghislain Vallières, spokesperson for the Service de police de l’agglomeration de Longueuil (SPAL).
Police were tipped off in January about potentially illegal activity going on in a residential building in Old Longueuil.
Then in mid-April, the SPAL obtained and executed a search warrant, according to Vallières.
“When we got inside of this apartment, what we found was a woman of 40-years-old, and she was actually kidnapped and she was used as a prostitute,” he said.
Police believe she had been held in captivity for at least two months before she was discovered.
“To make sure that she would stay there, they would use violence against her,” Vallières said.
“When you have the fact that they had a weapon, and they pointed the weapon at her, you can tell you what she went through.”
The victim was sent to hospital after the raid; she was suffering from extreme shock. She has since been put under the protection of the Longueuil Mobilis special taskforce.
“We have a psychotherapist that is in touch with the victim almost every day,” Vallières said. “She needs to feel like she is supported. It’s a new way that we are treating those types of investigations.”
Eight suspects now face a rash of serious charges, related to weapons possession and trafficking, drug trafficking, forced confinement, sex trafficking and human trafficking.
Police believe there are likely other victims.
“If there is a victim or somebody who knows a victim who could have been sexually exploited by those people, call 911,” Vallières said. “You can remain anonymous.”