An Edmonton man is facing human trafficking and other charges after two women were allegedly sold for sex and sexually assaulted.
Investigators believe the same man may have trafficked other women in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and that he may have used social media sites to approach women.
Omar Abdi Ahmed, 24 — also known as Jojo — is facing a total of 18 charges, Edmonton police said in a news release Friday. Ahmed is from Winnipeg but has family in Edmonton, police said.
He is in custody.
The police investigation began on Dec. 7, when patrol officers were called to a reported sexual assault in the area of 154th Street and 111th Avenue.
Police determined that an 18-year-old woman had been assaulted and trafficked over several days.
Ahmed is facing six charges in relation to the incident, including human trafficking, procuring, receiving a financial or material benefit from sexual services, advertising sexual services, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.
On Dec. 28, police responded to another report of an assault in the area of 38th Avenue and Gateway Boulevard.There officers found a 20-year-old woman who had been threatened, choked and trafficked for sex.
Ahmed has been charged with 12 offences in connection with the second incident.
They include human trafficking, receiving a financial or material benefit from sexual services, procuring, advertising sexual services, withholding traffic documents, forcible confinement, uttering threats, choking with intent to overcome, assault, mischief and two counts of breach of recognizance.
Police have released a photo of the accused as they believe there may additional victims who have yet to come forward.
“Human trafficking and exploitation of sexual services providers are a concern not only in Edmonton, but in cities and towns across Canada,” Acting Staff Sgt. Melanie Grace from the EPS vice unit said in a news release Friday.
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