One of the four people from Vancouver Island charged with human trafficking-related offences in Saskatchewan is also facing similar charges in Nanaimo.
Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi, 19, is facing three charges in Nanaimo with the offence date of Feb. 24, 2019: procuring under 18 years, advertise sexual services for consideration, and benefit from sexual services person under 18.
Seyed Kourosh is also facing a charge of procuring under 18 years of age with the offence date of Jan. 1, 2019.
Seyed Kourosh is scheduled to appear for those charges at a Nanaimo courthouse on Feb. 11, 2020. However, Seyed Kourosh and his twin brother Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, 19, were arrested on Jan. 28 near Swift Current. Two others from Vancouver Island were also arrested: Victoria residents Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, 36, and Shawn Alexander Kelly, 23
The four were arrested on Jan. 28 for human-trafficking related offences after an off-duty RCMP officer saw three vehicles speeding east on Highway 1 toward Swift Current. Police said the three vehicles appeared to be travelling together as they were driving in close proximity, were going in the same direction and travelling at the same speed.
The drivers were intercepted by Swift Current RCMP officers and all three vehicles were pulled over for driving at 153 km/h as a group.
Police said during the traffic stop, officers discovered several violations of the Saskatchewan Traffic Safety Act. Then while speaking to the drivers and the passengers in the vehicles, officers became suspicious of the relationships between them. Police said two young female passengers were found in separate vehicles, each with tinted windows. They were sitting in the back seat with no identification. The passengers are from B.C. and are not related to the suspects, police said. Their names are not being released.
The charges Ziaee, Kelly, Seyed Kourosh and Seyed Kamran are facing in Saskatchewan include receiving financial benefit knowing it was obtained from the commission of an offence, transport of 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 exercised control or movement of that person, and knowlying advertise an offer to provide sexual services. Ziaee is also facing one charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
All four appeared in Swift Current Provincial Court Friday morning. Each of the accused spoke with Legal Aid. Ziaee was remanded into custody and she is scheduled to appear by video link in Swift Current Provincial court at 9:30 a.m. CST on Feb. 5.
The three men were also remanded into custody and were scheduled to appear by video on Feb. 5, at 10:30 a.m. CST.
The men commented that they wanted to make their bail hearings through Legal Aid, and will use a separate lawyer for other court proceedings.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
With files from Anthony Janzen, Swift Current Online