Quebec Women Documented Dream Trip On Instagram – Before The Bust
Wasn’t that a party! Until it wasn’t.
The trip of a lifetime for a couple of Quebec women and a male companion turned into the drug bust of a lifetime for Australian border police.
Judging by their Instagram posts, Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace looked like they were having the time of their lives, spending weeks aboard Sea Princess and coming ashore in exotic destinations like Peru and Tahiti.
The young women were often posed in bikinis, doing things like drinking from coconuts and getting tattoos in French Polynesia.
But on Day 51 of a 68 day Princess Cruises sailing, the fun abruptly stopped, when Sea Princess docked in Sydney en route to its final destination in Fremantle. The Australian Federal Police were waiting, and a search of 2 passenger cabins revealed locked suitcases filled with 95 kilos – over 200 lb. – of cocaine. It was the largest ever bust of its kind on a cruise ship.
The discovery led police to charge Roberge and Lagance, as well as fellow Canadian traveller, 63 yr. old Andre Tamine, with trying to import the drugs into Australia. The penalty could be life imprisonment. The massive haul has an estimated street value of USD 30 million.
The Australian Federal Police said they had been working with counterparts in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand. They reported that the 3 Canadians were allegedly working with a "very well organized syndicate."
The Instagram accounts of both women are publicly accessible for anyone to view. Roberge used hers to expound philosophically about the joys of travel, among other things.
"Travelling is one thing ... But travelling 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," Roberge captioned one post from the cruise ship.
"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 sooo worth it."
She’s right of course, but sadly for her, the accommodations she’ll inhabit for years to come will be much smaller than the average cruise ship cabin.