New details emerge in case of alleged human trafficking in Port Alberni

New details emerge in case of alleged human trafficking in Port Alberni

Behind a locked gate and down a long gravel driveway is a Port Alberni trailer at the heart of human trafficking allegations.

CHEK News toured the building Thursday.

It is where approximately 15 migrant workers who were under contract to the San Group were living until the Salvation Army’s anti-human trafficking unit moved them out on June 29.

The building reportedly did not have running water, and the men were allegedly forced to wash dishes in a small trickle of a stream out back and drink from it.

Story continues below:

The dishwashing area is pictured in this submitted video.

When CHEK News visited the Hector Road site Thursday, a small stream was still full of pots and plates in it.

“This is where they were washing their dishes?” asked CHEK News.

“This is where they chose to wash their dishes,” said San Group’s general manager of terminals, Joe Spears.

“If someone chooses to use water, maybe in Vietnam that’s an acceptable practice, that’s normal housekeeping,” said Spears.

Inside the trailer was a very different scene from the video shot there one week earlier. San Group insists it was untouched.

“I didn’t touch it,” said Spears.

Watch the full story below:

On Thursday, the trailer’s toilet was flushing and clean water was running from taps. The carpet inside still wet to the touch from cleaning.

The San Group denies all allegations of human trafficking and inhumane living conditions. According to Spears, the workers are to blame and he alleges they are trying to break their Temporary Foreign Workers Visas to stay in Canada.

“I wouldn’t be standing here for a moment if I thought there was any involvement in human trafficking,” said Spears.

Yet, social service agencies and the City of Port Alberni are taking the allegations very seriously, and plan to investigate much further into the conditions the San Group is operating in.

“Making sure that standards are met,” said Port Alberni chief administrative officer Mike Fox.

According to San Group, nine Vietnamese Temporary Foreign Workers will be arriving in Port Alberni next week. However they will not be staying in the trailer on Hector Road, as the investigation continues.

RELATED: Port Alberni temporary foreign workers await their fate as government officials meet

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!