Alleged accomplice in Calgary organized crime network arrested for human trafficking

·2 min read

A Calgary man alleged to be an accomplice in a 500-person criminal organization involved in selling drugs has been arrested.

Shakir Jamal, 38, was wanted on warrants for trafficking of persons, material benefit from trafficking, advertising sex services, assault with a weapon and assault.

Calgary police said Wednesday that Jamal has been arrested and remains in custody.

Police allege that Jamal is an accomplice to 52-year-old Lawrence Orubor, the alleged leader of a massive drug distribution network known as The Family.

Earlier this month, Orubor was rearrested on charges of trafficking women into prostitution.

Last year, following a six-month police investigation called Operation Bloodline, Orubor was charged with the rarely invoked offences of instructing drug trafficking and violent offences for a criminal organization.

According to police, Orubor's network sold small quantities of drugs to homeless drug addicts, much of which took place near the Calgary Drop-In Centre. Police previously said that since Orubor was arrested, DI staff and police have seen violent incidents in the downtown area decrease.

Orubor was released on bail in November, but when Calgary police executed a search warrant on Jan. 7 in Calgary's southeast, they found Orubor in the company of an individual whom he was not allowed to associate with, according to the conditions of his release.

He also, at the time of his arrest, had $3,690 cash with him, and police said investigators believe Orubor and an accomplice were benefitting financially from the trafficking of women for the purposes of prostitution.

Police said at least two women were trafficked. At least one alleged they had been assaulted if they did not comply with the demands of the leader and his associate, according to police.

"This group targeted women who were vulnerable to manipulation and control because of their addictions," said Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach in a previous release.

"They preyed on at least two women that we currently know about, though we know they had a vast network in Calgary. If you are a victim of human trafficking, please call police. We can help."

Orubar saw his bail revoked earlier this month.

Jamal is set to appear in court on Feb. 3.