A 44-year-old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer has been charged in connection with a labour trafficking investigation in the York region police say.
“Officers learned that the victim was living in Mexico when he arranged to come to Canada for an employment opportunity,” the release read.
Police said when the victim arrived at a residence on Bayview Avenue in Georgina, he was “made to work caring for animals under very poor working conditions that were not consistent with the agreement.”
According to police, on May 3, 44-year-old Israel Yahsif Mane Monter from Georgina was arrested.
He has been charged with the trafficking of persons, forgery, cruelty to animals and possession of a prohibited device.
In a separate release, the RCMP said Mane Monter is a constable with the force’s Toronto North Transnational Organized Crime Unit.
“The RCMP is cooperating with the York Regional Police as they continue their investigation,” the release reads.
The RCMP said Cst. Mane Monter has been suspended with pay.
“His duty status will be continually assessed and an internal Code of Conduct investigation remains active and on-going,” the force said in the release.
The RCMP called the allegations against Monter “serious and difficult to comprehend.”
“As a police service, we work diligently to investigate instances of human trafficking and bring the offenders to justice, and we share this commitment with our law enforcement partners,” the release said. “Canadians and our law enforcement partners can trust that our priority continues to be the integrity of the investigations and the safety and security of the public we serve.”
York Regional Police said the province’s animal welfare services were also called and attended the residence to “further investigate the care and well-being of the animals.”
Police believe there may be additional victims, and are urging them to come forward.
“Any victims who are hesitant to come forward due to immigration status concerns should be aware that they have the right to support and protection under Canadian law,” the release reads.
Anyone who may have information or anyone who may be a victim are asked to contact the York Regional Police’s human trafficking section at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 6800 or Crime Stoppers.