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Two women charged in Bradford, Ont., human trafficking investigation: police

The two accused were released at the scene, police say, while the victims are now in refugee centres in the Greater Toronto Area.
The two accused were released at the scene, police say, while the victims are now in refugee centres in the Greater Toronto Area. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Two women have been charged following a forced labour human trafficking investigation in Bradford, Ont., South Simcoe police say.

The investigation, which began on Jan. 31, found that Mexican workers were recruited, trafficked and defrauded after they were brought to Canada under the pretense of proper accommodations and employment.

READ MORE: 3 people facing slew of charges following human trafficking investigation in Barrie

Once the six victims came to Canada, police say they were housed in poor living conditions, paid little money and threatened with deportation.

According to officers, the operation involved a company that provides cleaning services.

On Tuesday, South Simcoe police executed search warrants in Bradford and arrested two local women — Fanny Chimoy Melendez, 39, and Maria Flores Evariston, 31.

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READ MORE: 4 Barrie residents charged in labour human-trafficking investigation: police

The women were each charged with five counts of trafficking people, gaining material benefit resulting from human trafficking and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

The two accused were released, with future court dates, police say, while the victims are now in refugee centres in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Canada Border Services Agency’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

‘I went to bed a slave, woke up a free man’: Barrie human trafficking victim
‘I went to bed a slave, woke up a free man’: Barrie human trafficking victim