Three Canadians charged with smuggling 95 kg of cocaine

Three Canadian cruise ship passengers were charged with drug smuggling Monday after police in Australia allegedly found 95 kilograms of cocaine in their cabin luggage.

The haul valued at 31 million Australian dollars (US$23 million) was the largest seizure in Australia of narcotics carried by passengers of a cruise ship or airliner, Australian Border Force commander Tim Fitzgerald said.

Andre Tamine, 63, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberge, 22, were arrested Sunday after the MS Sea Princess, operated by California-based Princess Cruises, berthed in Sydney.

The three did not enter pleas when they were charged in the Sydney Central Local Court with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.

They face potential life sentences if convicted.

The trio will remain in custody until their next court appearance on Oct. 26.

The three Canadians had boarded the ship at the British port city of Southampton.

Police are investigating whether they boarded with the drugs or sourced them from one of several South American ports the ship visited on its way to Australia.

 

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