Lethbridge Police charge 10 males in human trafficking investigation

Lethbridge Police along with RCMP, the Calgary Police Service and ALERT’s Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation Unit have charged 10 males believed to be responsible for the sexual exploitation, sexual assault and trafficking of a female minor.

 

An investigation that began late last week has resulted in 10 males in Lethbridge being charged in connection with an alleged human trafficking operation between Lethbridge and Calgary. The age of the men range from 16 to 37, and include a business owner and a physician. 

 

“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,” said Pete Christos, Acting Inspector with the Criminal Investigation Division. “The victim often did not know the details of the pre-arranged meetings.”

 

Shortly later, investigators also learned of a 13-year-old victim relating to the same 10 males. LPS say as the investigation continues, the total number of victims has not yet been confirmed. 

 

Lethbridge Police Chief, Shahin Mehdizadeh, says if it wasn’t for the courage of the victims coming forward, LPS wouldn’t have been able to make any arrests.

 

Mayor Chris Spearman says he was saddened to hear the news that a crime like this has been committed in Lethbridge.

 

Chief Mehdizadeh says he is grateful for the work done by LPS, Calgary Police Service, RCMP and ALERT. 

 

Anyone with information in relation to the investigation is asked to contact Acting Sgt. Bryan Whelpley at 403-330-5167 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers. 

 

If you think you might be a victim of human trafficking think someone might be, police encourage you to reach out to them the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-833-900-1010.

 

We have charged the following individuals in connection with this investigation:

Fadi (Stawi) Chtewi, 20, faces charges of: 

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person 
  •         two counts of aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

Abdulla Mohammed, 19, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         two counts of aggravated assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

Mohammad Neirabani, 22, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         sexual assault
  •         sexual assault causing bodily harm
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18
  •         child luring

 

Mahmoud Nirabani, 20, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         two counts of aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

 Ziyaad Noor, 37, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         sexual assault
  •         sexual assault causing bodily harm
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

Mohammad Zafari, 20, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault – party to an offence with another person
  •         aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

A 17-year-old male, who cannot be identified, faces charges of: 

  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault causing bodily harm
  •         two counts of sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         two counts of aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18
  •         child luring.

 

A 16-year-old male, who cannot be identified, faces charges of:

  •         sexual assault
  •         sexual assault causing bodily harm
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

Arrest warrants have been issued for the following:

Meriton Krasniqi, 26, faces charges of:

  •         sexual interference
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         two counts of sexual assault
  •         sexual assault causing bodily harm
  •         sexual assault – party to offence with another person
  •         aggravated sexual assault
  •         trafficking persons under 18

 

Khaled Alsaid, 22, faces charges of:

  •         sexual assault
  •         invitation to sexual touching
  •         sexual interference

 

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.

Karsen Marczuk

Related post