Sask. RCMP locate victim of human trafficking during traffic stop

A teenage girl stopped for speeding by the Saskatchewan RCMP turned out to be a victim of human trafficking.

RCMP officers stopped the vehicle on Highway 1 near Swift Current. The car had an Ontario license plate and was driven by a female under the age of 16, who was the lone occupant.

An investigation determined the female was reported as missing from Ontario and was a suspected victim of human trafficking.

Officers requested assistance from the Ministry of Social Services in Swift Current, who accompanied the female to the hospital for medical care.

The RCMP said that transportation is being arranged to return the female to her home, and the Hamilton Police Service has taken carriage of the ongoing investigation due to the area of police jurisdiction.

Saskatchewan RCMP also reminds the public that anyone can be a target for human trafficking.

Victims may be trafficked by someone they know: a former or current partner, family member, friend, or trustworthy person.

The recruiting tactics can be subtle; often, victims don’t even know they’re being trafficked.

Traffickers may approach potential victims by:

• Pretending to be a potential love interest, friend or support person
• Connecting over social media or in person
• Offering gifts or money
• Introducing drugs or alcohol
• Threatening potential victims’ loved ones if they don’t comply

If you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, call the Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 or submit an anonymous tip online. The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is confidential and operates 24/7, 365 days a year.

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