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20 people rescued in large-scale human trafficking investigation

Irene Preklet, 680News
An RCMP Police badge is seen during a police memorial parade in Ottawa on Sept. 26, 2010. The Canadian Press Images/Francis Vachon.

Canadian investigators say they rescued 20 people who had been working in the sex trade industry in a large-scale human trafficking investigation.

Most of those rescued were under the age of 19, and several were just 14, 15 and 16 years old, police said Thursday.

The victims were either minors or the incidents happened against their will.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Northern Spotlight, involved police from Canada and the U.S.

Police charged 47 people in Canada with 135 offences.

Among the charges were human trafficking, forcible confinement, child pornography, and sexual assault with a weapon.

The investigation involved 40 police agencies including the RCMP, FBI, and OPP, as well as police in York and Durham regions.