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Victim of human trafficking escapes, suspect arrested at Calgary hotel

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams. File/Global News

A man arrested at a Calgary hotel last month is facing human trafficking charges amid allegations he forced a woman into the sex trade.

The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) arrested the accused, a 30-year-old man from Laval, Que., after a joint investigation with Calgary police.

Police said the investigation began in September when the victim reached out to officers.

Read more: Owners of Calgary cleaning company charged with human trafficking

According to ALERT, the victim said she was sexually exploited and that her abuser had controlled her money, food, and movements until she was able to escape.

“This was an abhorrent situation where the victim was being forced to perform sexual acts against her will,” Staff Sgt. Colleen Bowers said in a news release.

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“The silver lining is that she escaped, but the grim reality is that many women are trapped in this life,”

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Police arrested Firass Azzaz at an unnamed Calgary hotel on April 28.

He is facing a handful of charges including human trafficking, advertising sexual services and possession of property obtained by crime.

ALERT says the victim is receiving support and specialized care resources.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or any human trafficking offence, is asked to call local police or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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