Australia: 3 Canadians stashed $31M in cocaine in suitcases on cruise

SYDNEY, Sept. 1 (UPI) — Three Canadians are facing life imprisonment in Australia after more than 200 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $31 million was seized aboard a cruise ship.

Andre Tamine, 63, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberce, 22, were charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The cocaine stash was found in locked suitcases during a search of a cruise ship that docked in Sydney on Sunday.

The seizure was part of an international joint operation between the Australian Border Force and the Australian Federal Police with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the New Zealand Customs Service and the Canada Border Services Agency.

The Australian Border Force said the cocaine seizure was another example of how international cooperation leads to results in the battle against international drug syndicates.

“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 in a statement.

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