West Vancouver woman charged with human trafficking
A West Vancouver woman is wanted on a warrant for Human Trafficking after an investigation by the RCMP Federal Border Integrity Program (BIP).
The RCMP investigation shows that in 2008, 55-year-old Mumtaz Ladha hired a 21-year-old African woman with the promise of a work visa and a job in a Vancouver-area hair salon. When the victim arrived in Canada, she was forced to work in Ladha’s West Vancouver home for 18 hours a day, seven days a week. The victim received no pay, and the suspect has possession of her passport.
In June 2009, after one year of living in a state of fear and working excessive hours with little to no freedom, the victim was able to get to a woman’s shelter. The shelter was able to provide immediate support for the young woman while the RCMP’s BIP Human Trafficking Team started its investigation with help from West Vancouver Police.
On May 12, 2011, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) approved one charge of Human Trafficking and one charge of Human Smuggling under sections 118 and 117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This is only the second time a charge of Human Trafficking has been approved in BC.
The RCMP BIP is focused on getting the victim the help she needs to recover from her ordeal, and she continues to receive ongoing support from a variety of social assistance agencies.
Human trafficking is not a rampant crime in BC, but it does exist. The RCMP wants to inform the public so that victims understand they are victims; just because something is “common” in other parts of the world does not make it acceptable in Canada. E Division Border Integrity will continue to work closely with the province and non-governmental organizations to investigate human trafficking offences and support its victims.
Released by Cst. Michael McLaughlin
Media Relations Officer
Federal Programs, E Division