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Three suspects charged in connection to two human trafficking cases
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, January 4, 2013 3:34PM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 4, 2013 6:37PM MST
Edmonton police have laid a number of human trafficking and prostitution-related charges against three men in connection to two separate cases where young females were nearly lured into prostitution.
One of the cases dates back to July 2012, when police allege Ali Saghafi, 25, helped to lure an underage girl to Edmonton from Saskatoon.
When she arrived in Edmonton, police said the teenaged girl was reportedly sexually assaulted, beaten and forced into prostitution.
Police said she tried a number of times to escape, and was finally successful – escaping from a south-side motel room where she was being held, before returning to Saskatoon.
EPS Vice Section detectives said Saghafi was arrested on Dec. 20 – and is facing a number of charges including sexual assault, unlawful confinement, trafficking of a person under the age of 18 years and living off the avails of juvenile prostitution.
Police said a second incident took place recently, where it’s alleged an 18-year-old victim was held captive in a hotel room in the west-end, and forced into prostitution by two male suspects.
Detectives believe that victim was lured to the two men by another teen girl.
Vice Section detectives said two suspects in that case were arrested on Jan. 3.
Hamid Fazli Ghejlou, 31, is facing a number of charges that include trafficking in persons, procuring prostitution, living on the avails of prostitution of an adult and possession of stolen property under $5,000.
Shahin Ranjbar, 23, is also facing a number of charges that include assault, trafficking in persons, procuring prostitution, living on the avails of prostitution of an adult and possession of stolen property under $5,000.
EPS is recommending parents should closely monitor their children’s online habits – as investigators believe some young girls are being lured into prostitution online, and some are being lured by teens their own age.
Investigators believe other females could have been recruited online in relation to these cases, purely for the purpose of prostitution in Edmonton.
Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call the Edmonton Police Service non-emergency line at 780-423-4567 or by dialing #377 on a mobile phone.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).