Four Vancouver Island residents were arrested during a traffic stop in Saskatchewan this week, and are now facing numerous charges in connection with alleged human trafficking.
According to RCMP, the four were arrested on January 28, after an off-duty RCMP officer spotted three vehicles heading east on Highway 1, toward the town of Swift Current, and “driving at a high speed.”
The vehicles “appeared to be travelling together as they were driving in close proximity, in the same direction,” police said in a release. “Swift Current RCMP officers were able to intercept them and all three vehicles were pulled over for driving at 153 km/h as a group.”
During the traffic stop, officers noted “several violations” of the Traffic Safety Act, and while speaking to the drivers and the passengers of the vehicles, “officers became suspicious of the relationships between them and investigated further.”
In doing so, they found two young female passengers in the back seats of two separate vehicles.
Police noted the vehicles’ windows were tinted, and neither of the girls had any form of identification on them.
“These were some indicators of human trafficking related activity,” police said. “As a result, Swift Current RCMP arrested three adult males and one adult female for human trafficking related offences.”
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Those facing charges include Victoria resident Shawn Alexander Kelly, who is facing five charges, Nanaimo resident Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi, who is facing five charges, Nanaimo resident Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, who is facing five charges, and Victoria resident Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, who is is facing six charges.
All four are scheduled to appear in Swift Current Provincial Court January 31.
Police said the two young females they found were also from BC, but are not related to any of the four suspects. Their names are not being released, and the investigation is ongoing.