October 22nd, 2021

One of 10 accused in human trafficking investigation still in custody

By Delon Shurtz on August 20, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Only one of 10 individuals charged in connection with human trafficking and sex-related offences remains in custody after one more of the accused was released Thursday.
Mahmoud Nirabani, 20, was released on $2,500 no-cash bail and ordered to live with his father, who acts as surety for the accused. Additional conditions to which Nirabani must adhere mirror those of the other eight accused who were released earlier in the week, and include remaining in his father’s residence 24 hours a day, with only a few exceptions, surrendering his passport, remaining in Alberta, and avoiding contact with the other accused and their victims.
Following a lengthy, contested bail hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, Mohammad Zafari, 20, Abdullah Mohammed, 19, Mohammad Neirabani, 22, and Fadi Chtewi, 20, were released from custody. A 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified because of their age, were also granted bail. The following day, Khaled Alsaid, 22, and Meriton Krasniqi, 26, were released with the Crown’s consent.
The next court hearing for all nine accused is set for Sept. 10.
Only one more accused, Dr. Ziyaad Noor, 37, remains in custody, and he is scheduled to appear in court next week.
Although the accused don’t face all the same charges, many of the charges include trafficking persons under 18, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual interference.
Police reported they learned several individuals had selected and groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to specific locations where sex offences took place. The same individuals had also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.

Lethbridge police Thursday said three additional victims had come forward in connection with the investigation and that as the investigation expands additional charges may result against those individuals previously arrested.

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