Isabelle Lagacé, and Melina Roberge and , André Tamine, chahave been charged with smuggling $30.5 M in cocaine on a luxury cruise ship all the way to Sidney, Australia
This luxury trip at $20, 000 a pop, was over two months in the making, with documented stops in New York, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Tahiti and many more stops featuring beautiful selfies in various spots around the world, cuminatedd inthe nightmare of being arrested for possesion of $30.5 million worth of cocaine in their suit cases.
It was a dream cruise on MS Sea Princess, across world face possible life sentences in prison in Australia
Pictures of Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace taking in exotic sights during a two-month cruise were posted on Instagram throughout their trip.
But when they touched down in Sydney, Australia, authorities uncovered one of Australia’s largest drug busts ever.
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This was the last stop in a long voyage, after nearly two months of crossing the oceans, into the armms of border agents, the Australian Federal Police.
The authorities were ttipped off by interrrnational security agencise, including the Canadian Border Service Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security leading them to focus on this specific ship.
Pictures show them taking part in a range of activities from drinking coconuts on the beach to riding quad bikes through the desert while on the $20,000 (U.S$15,000) cruise.
Roberge’s Instagram account is flooding with images of the young woman wearing little more than a bikini, in exotic locations such as Ecuador and Peru.
In Peru the 22-year-old went hiking, posed for photographs with local children and also tried her hand at quad-biking, with one image showing her standing atop a bike.
‘Traveling is one thing … But traveling with an open mind, ready to taste everything, see everything, learn everything and get yourself out of your comfort zone .. Is probably the best therapy and lesson ever,’ she wrote alongside an image taken in Chile.
Photo: Insatgram @melinar
Isabelle and Melina left detailed record of their journey on social media. The three suspects were identified by the border agency as “high-risk travellers.” The investigators have not determined if they were also working independent of the man who was also arrested.
In a press conference, Australian Border Services said, “The maximum sentence for this charge is life in prison,” and made reference to an international drug syndicate that is still subject to investigation and could lead to other arrests.
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‘I used to be afraid to get out of my little town and now I feel like I don’t want to see that little town anymore cause it’s beautiful out there and it’s sooo worth it,’ the caption read.
Similarly, Lagacé’s Facebook and Instagram feature dozens of bikini-clad travel photos, the most recent of which was taken in Tahiti with the caption: ‘Collect moments, not things’.
Lagacé in a rock pond
Roberge atop a mountain in Ecuador
The pair also stopped off at the capital of French Polynesia, Papeete, during their round-the-world trip, where Roberge got a tattoo, which ‘means the protection of the traveler’.The trio allegedly had 95kg of cocaine, which was allegedly found by sniffer dogs and police in their suitcases
After Roberge, Lagacé and Tamine were arrested on Sunday, ABF Regional Commander Tim Fitzgerald said the drug bust was the nation’s largest ever narcotics bust through passenger transportation.
‘This is the biggest seizure of narcotics through a passenger stream, so either through the airport or cruise ships, this 95kg of cocaine is the largest seizure we’ve seen in Australia,’ Fitzgerald told AAP.
Photo: Australian Boarder Force
Investigators are trying to determine through which port the drugs were brought onto the ship. The three accused got on the ship in England in early July, but the cruise later travelled to several ports in North America, the Caribbean and South America — notably Colombia and Peru, two countries known for cocaine production
Cocaine is notoriously expensive in Australia, around five times more expensive than it is in Canada, and seizures of the drug at the border have spiked in recent years.