Ottawa man faces 26 human trafficking charges, allegedly used dating apps to lure victims

·1 min read
Reza Marandi, 42, has been charged with 26 human trafficking-related offences by Ottawa police.  (Submitted by the Ottawa Police Service - image credit)
Reza Marandi, 42, has been charged with 26 human trafficking-related offences by Ottawa police. (Submitted by the Ottawa Police Service - image credit)

An Ottawa man who allegedly used dating apps and other social media platforms to lure victims is now facing 26 charges related to human trafficking, according to Ottawa police.

Reza Marandi, 42, used aliases like Razzer Sharpe and Sammy Majour online, police said in a release issued Wednesday afternoon.

The charges stem from incidents alleged to have occured between the spring of 2016 and April 2022.

"The predatory and historic natures of this ongoing investigation suggest that more crimes have been committed during this timeline," the release said.

Police said they were taking the "extra step" of releasing Marandi's photo publicly because other victims may not know his legal name.

The Ottawa police human trafficking unit began investigating the man after a survivor came forward to police last month and says it corroborated the information through several investigative means.

Submitted by the Ottawa Police Service
Submitted by the Ottawa Police Service

The unit says it has the resources to support other victims, but will respect their wishes regarding whether they want to pursue the matter in court.

"The reporting of these incidents by victims to police is key for investigators to identify suspects and determine crime trends."

Marandi's charges include administering a noxious thing; forcible confinement; material benefit from sexual services; financial benefit for trafficking a person over 18; procuring a person to provide sexual services; advertising another person's sexual services; possessing child pornography, among other charges, including several sexual assault offences.

None of these allegations has been proven in court. Marandi was expected to appear in court Wednesday.

Anyone with information regarding such incidents is asked to call the Ottawa police human trafficking unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5005, or 1-800-292-1168.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting