Airbnb rentals being used for alleged human trafficking: Toronto police

Toronto police arrest 2 men in human trafficking investigation
WATCH ABOVE: Investigators allege the 19-year-old victim was shot in the buttocks when she tried to escape from her captors. Catherine McDonald has the story.

Toronto police say a recent case of alleged human trafficking is the latest in a growing trend involving people using Airbnb rentals to conduct their illicit transactions.

Det. Sgt. Nunzio Tramontozzi said police have seen a surge in such cases over roughly the past two years.

He said human traffickers may opt to use Airbnb rentals instead of motels or similar venues because of the greater possibility for anonymity.

READ MORE: Airbnb vows to crack down on sex traffickers using its properties as brothels

In the most recent case, he alleges two 18-year-old men forced a 19-year-old woman into the sex trade for more than a month, conducting most of their business at various Airbnb properties in the Greater Toronto Area.

The teens are now facing a total of 58 charges, and police say the woman is receiving medical help and support for her ordeal.

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Tramontozzi says people thinking of listing their properties on Airbnb should be more diligent in checking on prospective renters, but did not offer specific guidance.

Airbnb said it worked with Toronto police on the latest case and noted that it takes the challenge of confronting human trafficking very seriously.