[caption id="attachment_72610" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Australian couple used as drug mules[/caption]
Retired Australian Couple Used as Drug Mules to Canada
A retired couple unwittingly were used to ship methamphetamines from Australia to Canada police are reporting. The couple, consisting of a 72-year-old man and his 64-year-old wife, were told they had won an all-expenses paid vacation to Canada which included everything down the luggage. However, the couple began to have some misgivings about the luggage aspect of the vacation prize and expressed their misgivings to customs workers at Ontario's Perth Airport.
A detailed scan of the luggage revealed the cleverly hidden stash of drugs weighing 3.5 kg or 7.7 lbs. Police estimate the street value of the drugs at $7 million making for a nice profit for the drug dealer even after accounting for the all-expenses paid vacation. However, the couple proved to be too wise to be fooled.
The 38-year-old man who concocted the scheme was actually waiting to greet the couple at the airport. Much to his surprise, he was greeted by police officers who have provided him with all-expenses paid accommodations of their own at the county hoosegow.
In an interview with CBC, the Perth woman said she and her husband, who toured Vancouver and Whistler during their overseas trip, had no idea they had been duped into being drug mules.
“In the end, it seemed legitimate, so I went,” said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified.
“The organizers of this scam went to great lengths to provide a façade of legitimacy,” said Perth airport police commander David Bach, in a press release. “Thankfully the travelers contacted customs and didn’t dismiss their concerns, allowing us to make the arrest.”
Following his arrest, police searched his hotel room and found additional evidence to build their case against him. If he is convicted of trafficking in drugs, he faces a lifetime accommodation of room & board in state prison.
Jan Hill, director of airport operations at the Perth airport for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), reminds the public to never allow another person to pack your bag and to never carry luggage on behalf of another person.
“If you’ve been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, make the right choice and alert local authorities,” said Hill.
Earlier this month, eight Canadians were arrested in Australia following an 18-month drug investigation known as Operation Diamondback.
On The Web:
Elderly Australian couple used as drug mules in Canadian holiday ticket scam