NEWS

Olivia Bow, 29, faces human trafficking charges

06/12/2015 12:14 EDT | Updated 06/12/2016 05:59 EDT
A Markham woman faces human trafficking related charges after allegedly forcing multiple people into the sex trade.

Police believe Olivia Bow, 29, is part of a larger, international human trafficking ring that operates in Canada and the United States.

They started investigating Bow after a victim approached them in early May for help leaving the sex trade. The unnamed victim allegedly met Bow, who convinced her to work as an escort. Bow immediately started controlling the victim with violence and threats, police say.

Police arrested Bow on May 15, about a week after the victim came forward. At that time, they charged Bow with several offences.

Since then, more victims have come forward and police have laid additional charges against Bow.

Her charges now include:

- Human trafficking.

- Material benefit from trafficking in persons.

- Procure to become a prostitute.

- Sexual assault.

- Exercise control.

- Material benefit from sexual services.

The investigation is part of an ongoing one by the York Regional Police drugs and vice unit and the United States department of homeland security into a suspected human trafficking ring operating in the two countries. The two agencies believe Bow may have been involved with other victims and are asking them to contact police.

Bow will make a court appearance on Friday, June 19.

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