Two arrested in Sydney accused of £17m cocaine smuggling on cruise

Two arrested in Sydney accused of £17m cocaine smuggling on cruise

Two Canadian women on a cruise from the UK were arrested for allegedly smuggling £17 million worth of cocaine into Sydney.

Melina Roberge, 23, and Isabelle Lagacé, 28, are facing life imprisonment after they were accused of bringing in 200lbs of the drug into Australia.

Before their arrest, the women had documented their £11,000 trip on social media, posting images of themselves riding quad bikes, hiking in Peru and posing in bikinis.

Both appeared in court in Sydney on Monday alongside 63-year-old Canadian Andre Tamine, who is facing the same charges, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The trio had set off on a Princess Cruises ship from Southampton which sailed to Canada, the US, Peru and New Zealand before arriving in Australia.

But the group was caught by border agents and sniffer dogs who carried out a search of the ship's cabins before passengers went ashore in Sydney.

Police eventually searched the trio's suitcases, where they reportedly found a massive drug haul that was described by Australian Border Force commander Tim Fitzgerald as the largest ever recovered from a ship.

It was unclear how police were alerted to the alleged smuggling bid, but according to Canadian media all three suspects had been identified as "high risk travellers" by border agencies.

They are yet to enter a plea but could all face life imprisonment if convicted under Australia's tough smuggling laws.

On her Facebook page, Ms Roberge describes herself as a manager at a jewellery store in Montreal, while Ms Lagacé is understood to have worked at the Bureau de Poste café in Quebec.

All three suspects are due to appear again in court in October


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