Four B.C. residents arrested in Saskatchewan in human-trafficking case

Four suspects arrested near Swift Current transporting unidentified female passengers

Police in Saskatchewan have arrested two men on suspicion of human trafficking.

The arrests happened Tuesday when an off-duty RCMP officer spotted three vehicles travelling together at a high rate of speed toward Swift Current, Sask., on the Trans-Canada Highway, according to an RCMP press release.

Mounties from Swift Current intercepted all three vehicles after they were clocked at more than 150 kilometres per hour.

As police questioned the vehicle occupants they became suspicious about the relationships between the drivers and passengers and took the investigation further. Two young female passengers, neither of whom had identification, were found sitting in the back seats of separate vehicles that had tinted windows.

The officers arrested three men and one woman on suspicion of human trafficking-related offences.

Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19, from Nanaimo, along with Shawn Alexander Kelly, 23, and Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, 36, both of Victoria, are each facing human trafficking charges that include receiving financial benefit knowing it was obtained from the commission of an offence, transporting a person under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploiting them, procuring a person to offer or provide sexual services, harbouring a person who offers or provides sexual services for consideration, or exercising control or movement of that person, and knowingly advertising an offer to provide sexual services.

Ziaee has also been charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

The four accused will make their next court appearance Friday, Jan. 31, at provincial court in Swift Current.

Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi is also scheduled to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo, Feb. 11, to face charges of procuring, advertising sexual services for consideration and benefitting from sexual services from a person under 18.

The two young female passengers are also from B.C. and not related to any of the accused and their names will not be released.

The investigation is continuing.

READ ALSO: Hotline to combat human trafficking launches Canada-wide

READ ALSO: Vancouver man charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl



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