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CHARGES LAID AND VICTIMS RESCUED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION

Posted on Friday November 12, 2021

 

Investigators with the York Regional Police Major Crime Bureau - Human Trafficking Section have charged six people and located seven victims in connection with a human trafficking investigation dubbed Project Eonni.


The year-long investigation began in November of 2020 after information led officers to believe that an organized group of suspects operating a company called Moon Waiting VIP was involved in human trafficking throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).  Project Eonni began with information from the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (CCEHT) and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

On November 3, 2021, York Regional Police, working with investigators with the Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Canada Border Services Agency executed 20 search warrants at locations across the GTA, most of which were suspected of being sex trade operations. 

Six people have been charged. Officers seized more than $4 million dollars from accounts operated by the primary accused, approximately $3 million in illegal cannabis and 34 firearms with ammunition were seized for public safety. Seven victims have been located and were taken to safe locations where they have been connected with victim support services. 

Investigators are releasing a photo of one accused as they believe he may be involved with other vulnerable women. They are asking for those victims to come forward. Any victims of human trafficking who are hesitant to come forward due to immigration status concerns should be aware that they have the right to support and protection under the laws in Canada.

CHARGED:

Di LUAN, 38, of Markham

ALIAS NAMES:

Andy LUAN, Vincent LUAN, Chia Hao CHENG, Jia Hoa ZHENG

 

 

CHARGES:

  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Material Benefit from Trafficking in Persons
  • Procuring x2
  • Advertising Sexual Services
  • Laundering Proceeds of Crime
  • Careless Storage of a Firearm
  • Fraud Over $5,000
  • Possession of Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
 
    • Geoffrey PAYUMO, 51, of Scarborough
    • Jia Zhi LI, 47, of Markham
    • Ziyou ZHANG, 28, female, of Markham
    • Harold LAI, 40, of Richmond Hill

 

  • Material Benefit from Trafficking in Persons
  • Procuring
  • Jing JIN, 41, of Toronto

  • Possession of Cannabis for the Purpose of Distribution

This investigation was supported by funding provided by the Ontario government and the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario.

 

Members of the Human Trafficking Unit are continuing their aggressive efforts in combating human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and underage girls. In many cases, the women and underage girls are victims of crime having been forced into the sex trade. Investigators are willing to speak with anyone involved in the sex trade who may be looking for a way out or who may require assistance to escape these dangerous circumstances.

 

A national hotline has been established through the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking for victims and survivors to reach out for assistance and for members of the public to report incidents of human trafficking. The number to call is 1-833-900-1010. For more information please click on the following link: https://www.canadiancentretoendhumantrafficking.ca/

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Human Trafficking Section at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6800, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

 

Prepared by:  Constable Laura Nicolle

                       20-383143

                      November 12, 2021