Victoria police are appealing to potential victims of an alleged human trafficking ring to come forward.
The appeal comes several weeks after four Vancouver Island residents were arrested in Swift Current, Sask., on suspicion of human trafficking.
Swift Current RCMP says it stopped the group, which was speeding along Highway 1 in a three-vehicle convoy, on Jan. 28.
Police became suspicious when they discovered two young female passengers with no ID who were being transported in separate vehicles with tinted windows.
Shawn Alexander Kelly, a 23-year-old Victoria man, Shermineh Sheri Ziaee, a 36-year-old Langford woman, and her two sons Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi, 19, and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19-year-old Victoria residents, are now facing a variety of human trafficking-related charges.
Court records show Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi is already facing prostitution charges involving a minor in relation to an incident alleged to have taken place in Nanaimo in February, 2019.
“These four individuals have close ties to the Victoria area and investigators now believe that there may be additional victims here,” said VicPD in a media release.
“Our officers want victims of human trafficking to know that they will not be judged. They will be listened to. They will be heard.”
Police are urging anyone who believes they may be a victim or who has information about the case to come forward.
Kelly remains in a Saskatchewan jail, after being arrested for breaking bail conditions earlier this month.
Ziaee was released on Feb. 5 along with Kelly, on a $1,000 bond. Ziaee has since returned to Vancouver Island.
Her two sons were both denied bail and remain in custody.
— With files from Mickey Djuric