CALGARY – Police have laid charges against almost forty people in connection to two prostitution stings in the city.
The first was a four-day operation which targeted consumers of street trafficking in the Beltline and the Forest Lawn industrial area, both of which had been identified as problem locations by police and the community.
During the operation, which began on March 24th, police charged 32 people with obtaining sexual services.
The second four-day operation was launched on June 22nd, 2015.
In the second sting, police targeted those who were attempting to purchase sexual services from underage girls online.
Police arrested four men, each of whom was charged with one count of obtaining or communicating in any place for the purposes of attaining sexual services from a minor.
- Nam Voong, 29, of Calgary is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, July 13th.
- Muneeb Uddin Alvi, 20, of Calgary is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, July 23rd.
- Justin James Harder, 27, from Ontario and residing in Calgary is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, July 24th.
- Mark Kennedy, 53, of Calgary is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, July 9th.
A news release from the Calgary Police Service says their highest priorities are cases involving minors, exploitation and human trafficking.
“It is estimated that 90 to 95 per cent of prostitution occurs indoors, facilitated by the Internet.”
“Prostitution is a very complex issue requiring a collaborative approach amongst law enforcement and social service agencies,” states the release. “It is commonly recognized that sex trade workers are victimized and exploited and, in many instances, are in the trade due to financial stress, mental health, addiction issues or through coercion.”
In total, 36 people were charged in both operations.