BARRIE, Ontario – Canadian police say they have freed 43 “modern day slaves” from Mexico who were allegedly forced to work as cleaners at vacation properties in Ontario.
Police began investigating last year and executed 12 search warrants last week.
Rick Barnum of the Ontario Provincial Police said Monday the victims were lured to Canada believing they would be offered legitimate employment opportunities.
He says they were instead forced to live in “squalid” conditions and made to pay their alleged traffickers large sums of money. Barnum says they sometimes would have as little as $50 per month after paying fees to their employers.
Barnum says criminal charges may come later.
Since being rescued, the workers have been offered work and accommodations at an Ontario resort.