Investigation into Calgary drug network 'The Family' uncovers human trafficking
CALGARY -- The Calgary Police Service says the leader of a high-profile local drug network known as 'The Family' was allegedly involved in human trafficking and warrants have been issued for an alleged accomplice.
Investigators say at least two women were trafficked and at least one alleged they were assaulted if they did not comply with the demands of the leader and his associate.
"This group targeted women who were vulnerable to manipulation and control because of their addiction," said Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach."They preyed on at least two women that we currently know about, though we know they had a vast network in Calgary."
The man alleged to be the head of the 500-person criminal organization is 52-year-old Lawrence Orubor, who was arrested last November.
Orubor, who lives in suburban Calgary, has a criminal history that includes more than 40 convictions dating back more than 30 years in both Alberta and B.C.
He faces seven charges connected to Operation Bloodline — a six-month police investigation into the activities of "The Family."
Orubor was released on bail, but police executed a warrant at a residence in the 2800 block of 16 Ave S.E on Jan. 7 .He was located within the home and in the company of another person he, under his release conditions, was not to be with.
Orubor was subsequently arrested and charged with:
- Material benefit from trafficking (two counts)
- Trafficking in persons
- Material benefit from sexual services
- Proceeds of crime
- Breach of release order
He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
In connection with the investigation, Calgary police are now looking for 38-year-old Shakir Jamal who is wanted for trafficking of persons, material benefit from trafficking, advertising sex services, assault with a weapon and assault.
Jamal is also wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for parole violation.
The wanted man is described as:
- About 173 cm (5-8) tall
- Balding, with short black hair
- Having a 'Family' tattoo on his right cheek
RESET society of Calgary helps support women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked.
Paul Rubner, a retired police officer with CPS, spent 11 years on the force’s VICE unit, now works with the Society.
He says 97 per cent of human trafficking cases in Canada are women and Canadian citizens.
“The vast majority of sex trafficking victims in Canada are our neighbours, our sisters our mothers and our daughters,” said Rubner.
Rubner adds that about 10-15 sexual assaults take place daily in these trafficking rings, with many experiencing violence, psychologically or physically.
“When you have multiple women being victimized in a scenario, if violence is perpetuated against one victim that has a profound effect on the others,” said Rubner.
Police say there could be even more victims.
“These ones are often hard to find and to encourage to come forward,” said Staff Sergeant Jodi Gach.
Police allege that Orubor is responsible for a violent spike in stabbing and assaults near the Drop-In centre and in the Bridgeland area.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the CPS non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or submit tips anonymously through Crime Stoppers.