Update: Two wanted in human trafficking investigation now in custody of Lethbridge Police

Lethbridge, Alberta – (August 16, 2021 2:45 PM) Two individuals with arrest warrants in relation to a human trafficking investigation are now in custody.

Meriton Krasniqi and Khaled Alsaid turned themselves in to Lethbridge Police on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. They have now been arrested on their outstanding warrants and are in police custody.

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

The investigation is continuing and no further details or updates are being provided at this time.

Lethbridge Police Service

BACKGROUND

Lethbridge, Alberta – (Fri, Aug 13, 11:40 AM) The Lethbridge Police Service, in collaboration with the RCMP, the Calgary Police Service and ALERT’s Human Trafficking Counter Exploitation unit, have charged ten 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.

Members of our Criminal Investigation Section subsequently learned the same individuals had also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old victim. As our 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.

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 (more than one person involved in the sex assault)

· 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

Police are asking anyone with information in relation to this investigation to contact Acting Sgt. Bryan Whelpley, at 403-330-5167. Tips can also be provided anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

If you think you might be a victim of human trafficking or think someone else might be) police encourage you to reach out to the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-833-900-1010, by email at [email protected] or submit the tip online.

Lethbridge Police encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of sexual assault to report it to police by calling 403-328-4444, or 9-1-1 if they are in immediate danger. There is no time limit on how long a victim has to report a sexual assault in Canada.

The Lethbridge Police Service is part of the multi-disciplinary team at the Chinook Child Advocacy Centre, which provides support for children, youth, and families who have been impacted by severe and complex abuse. For more information, visit their website at https://csacleth.ca/development/

For more information on human trafficking, Albertans can visit www.notinmycity.ca. #NotInMyCity offers an online course that teaches Canadians more about this type of crime and actions they can take against it. Additional resources can be found through The Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT) Alberta and the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).

The most recent human trafficking statistics were made available by Statistics Canada in 2018 and reflect data collected from 2009 – 2016.

Police services in Canada have reported 1,708 incidents of human trafficking since 2009.

90% of incidents of human trafficking were reported in metropolitan areas.

97% victims of police-reported human trafficking were women and girls.

45%) of all victims of police-reported human trafficking were between the ages of 18 and 24.

28% were under the age of 18, and the remainder

26% were 25 years of age or older.

Lethbridge Police Service



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