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Charges laid in human trafficking investigation

Police suspects there are more victims

Earlier this January, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) initiated a Human Trafficking Investigation and acquired grounds to charge a 40-year-old Toronto man, Steve Coelho. Police believe there are more victims.

The police ask that anyone who has come into contact with Steve Coelho (who also goes by the names: “Nikolai” or “Nik”) or who has information to please get in touch with Detective Constable Moss of the Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 4961

Halton Police charged Steve Coelho with the following offences:

  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Material Benefit from trafficking in persons
  • Withhold or destroy documents
  • Material Benefit resulting from sexual services
  • Advertise Sexual Services
  • Procuring

Steve Coelho was been held in custody pending a bail hearing on Jan. 11.

Please note that a person charged is still considered innocent and can only be found guilty by a court of law. 

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Suggestions and support for victims of violence or sexual assault

Victims of violence or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. Here is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton.

There are various signs and  indicators of Human Trafficking the public should be observant of when observing individuals:

  • Not being allowed to speak for themselves.
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone.
  • Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number.
  • Being controlled by others and escorted at all times.
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends.
  • Withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions.
  • Being secretive about their activities.
  • Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
  • They have a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend they won't introduce to friends/family.
  • Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?

If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centred approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with a local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at