Multiple news sources are reporting that today, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested three cruise ship passengers who were smuggling 95 kilos (over 209 lbs.) of cocaine into the port in Sydney, Australia.
SkyNews says that the AFP arrested a 63-year-old man and two women, age 23 and 28, after Australian police with sniffer dogs searched the cruise ship when it berthed in Sydney and found cocaine in their suitcases.
The newspaper reports that the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations, New Zealand Customs Service and the Canada Border Services Agency cooperated with the AFP and Australian Border Force in making the drug bust.
Although none of the newspapers identified the cruise ship on which the passengers smuggled the cocaine, the only cruise ship berthing in the Sydney Harbor today was the Sea Princess.
August 29 2016 Update: The Sydney Morning Herald confirms that the cruise ship was the Sea Princess. “The seized drugs have an estimated street value of $31 million (Australian, $23 million U.S.) and this is the largest drug bust of its type on board a cruise ship. Three passengers Andre Tamine, 63, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberce, 22, were charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment . . . The Sea Princess docked in Sydney on Sunday morning on the final stages of a 66-day world tour. The ship began the cruise in Britain at the start of July and visited Canada, the United States, parts of South America, including Colombia and Peru, and Auckland before arriving in Sydney.”
October 30 2016 Update: Okay, the record drug bust story just got weirder. Vice’s Quebec Women Charged in Massive Coke Smuggling Bust Documented Whole Trip on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Sea Princess in Sydney By Bahnfrend – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0