Four Islanders charged with human trafficking after girls found in speeding vehicles

Four people from Vancouver Island have been arrested and charged with trafficking two young girls.

On Tuesday afternoon, an off-duty RCMP officer spotted three vehicles driving at speed east on Highway 1 toward Swift Current, Sask.

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Police said the three vehicles appeared to be travelling together. They were driving in close proximity, in the same direction and at the same high speed.

Swift Current RCMP officers intercepted them and all three vehicles were pulled over for driving at a speed of 153 kilometres an hour.

During the traffic stop, the officers spoke to the drivers and the passengers of the vehicles.

They quickly became suspicious of the relationships between three adult men, one woman and two young female passengers. The girls were sitting in the back seats of separate vehicles, which had tinted windows. The girls had no identification.

The Mounties arrested a man and one woman from Victoria and two men from Nanaimo.

Shawn Alexander Kelly, 23, of Victoria, Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19, of Nanaimo, are charged with receiving a 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 and knowingly advertising to provide sexual services.

Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, 36, of Victoria, is charged with the same five offences, plus possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

The four accused are scheduled to make their next court appearance today in Swift Current provincial court.

The two young female passengers are from B.C. They are not related to any of the accused.

The investigation is ongoing.

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