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Victoria police look for more victims of sex trafficking after Saskatchewan arrests
VICTORIA -- Investigators in Victoria are searching for local victims of human trafficking in the wake of a bust in Saskatchewan last month.
On Jan. 28, four Vancouver Island residents became tangled in a multi-province sex trafficking investigation.
The four islanders were arrested after an off-duty Mountie in Saskatchewan spotted three vehicles with tinted windows speeding along the Trans-Canada Highway in excess of 153 km/h.
Police pulled the convoy over and grew suspicious when they noticed two young girls in the back seats of the vehicles.
The girls, who are both under 18 and are from B.C., did not have identification at the time, according to police.
Shermineh Sheri Ziaee and Shawn Alexander Kelly, of Victoria, were granted bail terms while twin brothers Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, of Nanaimo, were denied bail.
Zaiee, 36, who is believed to be the mother of the Miralinaghi brothers, was granted bail on a $1,000 deposit along with a number of conditions.
On Tuesday, Victoria police released a statement asking anyone who may have been a victim of sex trafficking or knows someone who has been to come forward.
“Our officers want victims of human trafficking to know that they will not be judged,” said Bowen Osoko with VicPD’s community engagement department. “They will be listened to. They will be heard.”
All of the accused Vancouver Islanders are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Anyone who wants to contact Victoria police about this matter can call their non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.