Criminal gangs are branching out into prostitution rings supplied with women from human trafficking in Alberta and the north, becoming just as lucrative as the drug trade, says a law enforcement report.
“It is believed that the profits gathered from human trafficking rival that of drug and weapons trafficking,” read the 2008 report from Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta.
“(While) cocaine can be sold once, a human trafficking victim can be sold repeatedly, resulting in it being an extremely lucrative offence for an organized crime group to be involved in.”
Victims of human trafficking can be found within bawdy houses and illegitimate massage parlours throughout Alberta, said the report.
Organized crime groups are trafficking foreign victims into the province and investigations revealed women and young girls from several Asian countries have been brought into Canada, said the report.
Criminal gangs are also recruiting young women unwittingly into the sex trade who are then circulated to major cities across Canada and the U.S., said the report.
Also, nearly all of Canada’s 54 criminal organizations and 49 “subjects of interest” are believed to have ties to crime networks, the report said.
The report also says the drug trade is still the primary criminal activity in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, but organized vehicle theft is turning into a “profitable criminal venture.”