Sydney – Two Canadian women documented their luxurious vacations all over Instagram before being arrested for having $22 million worth of cocaine in their luggage. According to Australia’s Border Force Commander Tim Fitzgerald, this is the largest drug bust in the country so far.
Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberge, 22, along with Andre Tamine, 63, were detained on the MS Sea Princess when the cruise was docked in Sydney.
The Australian Federal Police, border agents, and sniffer dogs were waiting for the cruise to arrive so they could seize the suspects. Apparently, officials found almost forty kilograms of cocaine in the cabin the two women shared, and the other sixty kilograms were discovered in Tamine’s cabin.
“These syndicates should be on notice that the Australian Border Force is aware of all of the different ways they attempt to smuggle drugs into our country and we are working with a range of international agencies to stop them,” Australian Border Force Assistant Commissioner, Clive Murray said during a press conference.
The three suspects have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine and will remain in custody until October 26 when they have to appear in court. If convicted, the man and the two women could be given life sentences. So far, none of them have entered pleas.
A journey documented on Instagram
Lagace and Roberge recorded on their social media the past couple of months they spent on the tremendously luxurious cruise.
The MS Sea Princess has a capacity for up to two thousand passengers, and covers numerous stops on its route from the United Kingdom, Southampton, to Australia, specifically Sydney. The cruise is indeed VIP: A single ticket cost approximately fifteen thousand dollars.
Both of the girls inundated their Facebook and Instagram accounts with pictures of them in NY’s Time Square, in French Polynesia drinking coconut water, and in pubs in Ireland.
“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. 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 so worth it,” wrote Roberge in picture of herself in a farmer market that sshe posted three weeks ago.
After her arrest, one of her followers commented said she “gotta travel with not only an open mind but an open suitcase too…”
She also has pictures of herself in Chile, Ecuador, Bermudas and Peru, always using the Instagram hashtags #bucketlist and #dumbanddumber.
Roberge works at a Pandora jewelry store in Montreal, as stated in her Facebook profile. The day before her arrest, she posted a picture with the phrase “when you wake up and need a nap.”
Their arrest was a joint effort of the Canada Border Services Agency, the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Australian officers.
The agencies had been in contact almost since the cruise started its route. The three arrested suspects are now labeled as “high-risk”, within the agencies.