Two Syrians arrested in Toronto accused of human trafficking

Police have charged two Toronto men, a Syrian and a Jordanian national, with human trafficking offences after the woman was forcibly moved from a Toronto high-rise hotel to an apartment and denied food, according to Toronto Police.

Zher Chhuon, 55, and Ehab Al Ajar, 37, have been charged with the organization of a human smuggling, subjecting persons to extreme cruelty, aggravated assault, assault and forcible confinement. The two men are Syrian nationals originally from Damascus.

The woman, who police said arrived in Canada in 2017, escaped to a local health clinic on Nov. 24 where she reported to staff that she had been beaten by Mr. Chhuon and Mr. Al Ajar. Police also said that the pair had assaulted her and forced her to work long hours on low wages as a receptionist in a downtown Toronto hair salon.

The woman reportedly escaped from the apartment and contacted police on Nov. 25. Police described the woman’s injuries as non-life-threatening.

Mr. Chhuon was also charged with assault with a weapon, prohibited weapons, cocaine possession and theft under $5,000. Mr. Al Ajar was charged with obstructing a peace officer.

They appeared in court on Nov. 27 and are scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 14. The two men remained in custody and their next court appearance is Feb. 14.

Read the full article at Globe and Mail.


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