Photograph taken in 2005
|Born||31 October 1970 |
|Alias(es)||Omid Roshan, Omid Roushan, "Nino"|
|Charge(s)||Wire fraud, mail fraud, telemarketing fraud, aiding and abetting|
(2003, U.S. nationwide)
|Conviction(s)||Kidnapping, sexual assault|
|Penalty||11 years in imprisonment (2007, Canada)|
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Tahvili came to Canada from Iran in 1994. In November 2000, he was arrested with his brother-in-law for possession of 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) of cocaine, in a joint operation between the Vancouver Police and the RCMP. Tahvili was found not guilty. By 2003, the RCMP recognized Tahvili as heading up one of the main criminal organizations operating out of an Iranian community in Canada. At that time, dozens of Iranian expatriates were working under him.
From 1999 to 2002, he ran a fraudulent telemarketing business that targeted people in theUnited States, stealing approximately US$3 million from hundreds of victims, most of them elderly. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Tahvili on January 30, 2003 by the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, where he was charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, telemarketing fraud and aiding and abetting.
Escape and Conviction
In 2005, Tahvili discovered that C$300,000 of his organization's drug money had gone missing, and suspected that a courier who had worked for him stole it and fled to Vietnam. Tahvili kidnapped the man's brother-in-law, sexually assaulted him, and interrogated him over several hours. The man was eventually let go and Tahvili was arrested soon after. Since July 2005, Tahvili has awaited trial in the maximum-security North Fraser Pretrial Centre in British Columbia until he escaped in November 2007 after bribing a security guard named Edwin Ticne. A closed circuit television video showed Tahvili leaving the Pretrial Centre wearing a janitor's uniform and being led through a series of locked doors by Ticne, and escaping through the front door. Tahvili subsequently received an 11-year sentence in absentia. On August 8, 2008, Ticne was sentenced to three years and three months jail time for aiding in his escape.