Lethbridge Police charge 10 people for human trafficking
The Lethbridge Police Service, in collaboration with the RCMP, the Calgary Police Service and ALERT’s Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation unit, have charged 10 individuals believed to be responsible for the sexual exploitation, sexual assault and trafficking of a female minor.
During the course of the investigation, police first learned that a 15-year-old female had been selected, groomed and brought to specific locations where the offences took place.
It is believed these individuals involved in these crimes are all from Lethbridge and Calgary. These individuals had arranged for the transportation of the victim to locations where the offences took place. The victim often did not know the details of the pre-arranged meetings.
It was subsequently discovered that the same individuals had also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old victim. As the investigation continues, the numbers of victims, at this point, have not been confirmed.
Ten individuals have been charged, with the accused ranging from youth to a business owner to a physician. Eight of those are currently in custody pending a bail hearing. Some are scheduled for court appearances as early as today.
Additionally, two others identified have warrants out for their arrest and are still at large. Further charges are pending.
The following individuals are charged in connection with this investigation:
Fadi (Stawi) Chtewi, 20; Abdulla Mohammed, 19; Mohammad Neirabani, 22; Mahmoud Nirabani, 20; Ziyaad Noor, 37; Mohammad Zafari, 20; a 17-year-old male, who cannot be identified; a 16-year-old male, who cannot be identified.
Additionally, arrest warrants have been issued for the following: Meriton Krasniqi, 26; Khaled Alsaid, 22.
These individuals face charges including sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, sexual assault – party to offence with another person, aggravated sexual assault, trafficking persons under 18 and child luring, among others.
Police are asking anyone with information in relation to this investigation to contact Acting Sergeant Bryan Whelpley, at 403-330-5167. Tips can also be provided anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.