Young Women Busted with 200 Pounds of Cocaine on Round-the-World Cruise
Cruising around the world may sound like a dream come true, but two young women’s dream trip hit a snag recently when they were busted for carrying millions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs with them.
The women spent the first part of their Jules Verne-style adventure snapping Instagram shots in bikinis on the beach and drinking from coconuts, but that all changed when their ship arrived in Australia.
Authorities Down Under booked the two Canadians, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberce, 22, after they found 200 pounds of cocaine stashed in their suitcase.
The illegal cargo was valued at about $30 million.
Andre Tamine, 63, was also arrested for assisting the women, with some of the drugs found in his luggage.
"The huge haul represents a record for drugs seized off a cruise vessel coming into Australia," the Australian Border Force said, crediting U.S. and Canadian authorities for helping to ID the women as potentially high-risk passengers.
On Happening Now, Jenna Lee discussed the bust with legal experts Heather Hansen and Brian Claypool.
Hansen said the women will likely be offered a deal to give up the people they were working with and if others are caught, they could lessen their prison sentence.
Claypool said the women could try to argue that the bags aren't their own and claim they don't know how they got onboard.
"The government has to prove these ladies had knowledge that that cocaine was in that luggage and federal authorities have already said 'we don't know where that cocaine came from or how it got onto the cruise ship. That's a real problem," he said.
Hansen said it's likely that the drugs were smuggled onto the ship during one of its stops in South America.
Watch the discussion below.