Victoria woman charged with human-trafficking in Saskatchewan, returns home on bail

Shermineh Sheri Ziaee was released last week following a Jan. 28 arrest in Swift Current

One of the four Vancouver Island residents charged with human trafficking-related offences in Saskatchewan last month has made it back home to the Victoria area.

Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, 36, was released on $1,000 bail after appearing in court Feb. 5 on several charges, including transporting a person under 18 for the purpose of exploiting them, procuring a person to offer or provide sexual services, and knowingly advertising an offer to provide sexual services.

RELATED: Two Victoria suspects arrested in Saskatchewan for alleged human trafficking

She and her 19-year-old sons, Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, along with a man named Shawn Alexander Kelly, 23, were pulled over for travelling 150 km/h on Highway 1 in Swift Current, Sask., on Jan. 28. The four were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after two young girls, neither of whom had identification, were found sitting in the back seats of separate vehicles that had tinted windows.

Outside her home on a busy street in the West Shore last Friday morning, Ziaee expressed her innocence and that of her sons in a brief interview with Black Press Media.

She said she’s received death threats since being charged, has had to quit her three jobs, and now has to sell her car.

A Facebook user with Ziaee’s photo, under a different name, is selling items on the social network’s Marketplace platform, including what appears to be the same vehicle spotted on Ziaee’s property.

As part of her conditions of release, Ziaee must live in an approved residence, obey a curfew, not have any contact with the co-accused, the two young girls, or anyone under the age of 18, and cannot possess a weapon.

Meanwhile, a neighbour of Shawn Kelly confirmed he lives in Colwood with family. It is not clear how Ziaee and her sons know him.

He is charged with receiving financial or material benefit knowingly obtained from an offence, transporting a person under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploiting them, procuring a person to provide sexual services and advertising an offer to provide sexual services.

He has been released on a promise to appear and remains in Saskatchewan. He and both brothers, who remain in custody, are expected in court on March 11.

Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi is also charged with procuring a minor under the avails of prostitution, advertising sexual services for consideration, and benefiting from the sexual services of a minor, all in relation to a separate, alleged incident in Nanaimo back on Feb. 24, 2019. The case continues through the court process.

RELATED: Two Greater Victoria residents charged with human trafficking released with conditions



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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Shawn Alexander Kelly is in Swift Current, Sask., and is expected back in court on March 11, 2020. (Shawn Kelly/Facebook)

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