Toronto man held on human trafficking, smuggling and assault charges

John Gordon was arrested at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing

John Gordon has been charged with human trafficking, human smuggling and assaulting a police officer in Toronto.

The Immigration and Refugee Board heard that Gordon, 56, had allegedly operated a human smuggling operation under the name “Circe Inc.” – which the board later determined was a fictional name given to him by his two helpers.

Gordon and his two helpers pleaded not guilty to each of the charges.

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On 7 January, the district police officer who first investigated the case announced the charges against Gordon during a public press conference.

Toronto District School Board members had earlier raised concerns about Gordon and his alleged human smuggling activities.

“He called our students, saying he was the CEO of a legitimate company,” Robyn Bews, chair of the board, told CTV News.

“He even had a safe for when kids ran away.”

When members of the school board searched Gordon’s apartment, they found a number of documents where Gordon discussed “how to make money through transporting students”, the spokesperson added.

In October, federal authorities arrested an 18-year-old employee of Circe Inc. in Toronto. If found guilty, the teen faces the same 14 charges.

Prosecutors also arrested a 34-year-old cab driver in Toronto on 25 December.

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