Human trafficking charges laid against owners of Calgary cleaning company

Human trafficking charges have been laid against a husband and wife who own a Calgary-based cleaning company after an 18-month investigation by law enforcement.

Amelita Layco, 50, and Macario Layco, 49, are alleged to have recruited employees through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, RCMP said in a press release on Tuesday.

Upon arriving in the country, the workers are believed to have been exploited by the business owners for their personal financial gain, the release said.

Amelita Layco was charged on April 1 with:

  • Two counts of trafficking in persons under section 279.01 of the Criminal Code.
  • Two counts of material benefit – trafficking under section 279.02 of the Criminal Code.
  • Fraud under section 380 of the Criminal Code.

Macario Layco was also charged on April 1 with:

  • Two counts of material benefit – trafficking under section 279.02 of the Criminal Code.

Both are scheduled to appear at the Calgary Provincial Courthouse on April 16.

Victims receiving support through non-profit

The investigation was conducted by the Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET), a federal policing unit that works to enhance border security.

It is comprised of the Calgary Police Service, the Alberta RCMP and the Canada Border Enforcement Agency.

The victims are also receiving support from the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT) Alberta, a non-profit that helps human trafficking survivors, RCMP said.

“The longstanding relationship between the RCMP and ACT Alberta has proven to be a beneficial partnership in streamlining services for individuals experiencing this human rights violation,” said Insp. Germain Leger, an operations officer with Alberta RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime South.

Those experiencing, or suspected of being victim to, sexual or labour exploitation are encouraged by RCMP to call 587-585-5236 to reach an ACT Alberta Victim Response Coordinator, or the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

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