Two of the four people from Vancouver Island who were arrested in Saskatchewan on suspicion of human trafficking have been released.
Shawn Alexander Kelly, 23, and Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, 36, both of Greater Victoria, have been released with conditions. Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19 and of Nanaimo, remain in custody at the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre.
All four appeared in court on Wednesday in Swift Current, where the arrest occurred.
Kelly was released on a promise to appear at his next court date, which is on March 11 for all four involved. Ziaee was released on $1,000 bail but is also expected back in court next month.
On Jan. 28 an off-duty RCMP officer spotted three vehicles — which appeared to be travelling together as they were driving in very close proximity and heading the same direction — that were travelling at the same high rate of speed heading east on Highway 1 towards Swift Current.
RCMP officers were able to intercept the vehicles and pulled them all over for travelling 153 km/h.
While the vehicles were pulled over, officers became suspicious and discovered two young female passengers in the back seat of separate vehicles, each with tinted windows and no identification. According to RCMP, these are indicators of human trafficking-related offences and as a result, the four people were arrested.
Justice Karl Bazin imposed a number of release conditions during the Swift Current court appearance.
Kelly must stay inside an approved residence in Swift Current with an 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. curfew, not be more than 150 km from the residence, not be within 100 metres of any of the other offenders and the two young girls along with a weapons prohibition. He also has been ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Ziaee must live in an approved residence in Victoria with the same curfew conditions, not have any contact with anyone under the age of 18 and have no contact with the other offenders or the two young girls, along with a weapons prohibition.
Kelly and both Miralinaghi men are charged with receiving financial benefit and knowing it was obtained from the commission of an offence, transporting a person under 18 for the purposes of exploiting them, producing a person to offer or provide sexual services, harbouring a person who offers or provides sexual services and knowingly advertising an offer to provide sexual services.
Ziaee is charged with the same offences, with the addition of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
The two young female passengers are from B.C. and are not related to any of the accused. Their names will not be released in order to protect their identity.
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