Human trafficking suspect arrested in Calgary
Posted: May 4, 2021
Calgary… A Quebec man has been charged with human trafficking offences following an investigation by ALERT and the Calgary Police Service.
ALERT’s Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation unit alleges the suspect forced a woman into the sex trade. The victim reported to police that she was sexually exploited, and her perpetrator 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. The silver lining is that she escaped, but the grim reality is that many women are trapped in this life,” said Staff Sgt. Colleen Bowers, ALERT Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation unit.
Firass Azzaz was arrested at a Calgary hotel on April 28, 2021. The 30-year-old man from Laval, Que. has been charged with:
- Human trafficking;
- Material benefit – trafficking;
- Advertising of sexual services; and
- Possession of property obtained by crime.
The survivor is receiving support and specialized care resources. Survivors of sex trafficking can call 211 for help.
The investigation began in September 2020 when the victim contacted police.
Anyone with information about this investigation, or any human trafficking offence is encouraged to contact local police or Crime Stoppers.
ALERT’s Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation unit investigates domestic human trafficking involving sexual exploitation occurring in Alberta. The integrated unit also works in collaboration with agencies and organizations involved in rescuing and supporting survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.