Project Orchid Takes Aim at Illegal Massage Parlours
Investigators with the Hamilton Police Human Trafficking Unit and partner agencies recently completed Project Orchid, a project aimed at protecting the safety and security of potentially vulnerable women.
Project Orchid, which included Canada Border Agency Services, City of Hamilton Licensing and By-Law, RCMP Hamilton – Niagara Detachment, Hamilton Police Victim Services Branch and the Ministry of Finance, targeted Hamilton body-rub parlours and personal wellness service establishments to ensure they were complying with their City of Hamilton business license requirements.
Through investigation, the majority of the personal wellness service establishments were found to offer sexual acts which are in violation of the City of Hamilton By-Law. The establishments generally advertise through online ads.
- Three individuals were arrested regarding immigration offences
- Four males were given warnings about paying for sexual services
- One suspected human trafficking victim was identified
- Numerous licensing and By-Law infractions were laid
- One location was advertising on an online escort website
In total, Project Orchid visited nine establishments across Hamilton.
Project Orchid was completed at the same time the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (The Centre), a national charitable organization dedicated to ending human trafficking, launched the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010. This multilingual hotline is the first-of-its-kind in Canada and is operational 24/7, 365 days a year.
Anyone with information about human trafficking can also contact Detective Constable Mike MacSween at 905-546-3845. To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit anonymous tips online at www.crimestoppershamilton.com.