Australian Border Force (ABF) officers seized 95 kilograms (210 lb) of cocaine from three Canadian cruise ship passengers.
On Sunday, ABF officers boarded the Princess Cruises ship Sea Princess when it berthed in Sydney Harbour, and with the assistance of detector dogs, searched a number of passenger cabins on the ship. During this search, about 95 kilograms of cocaine was located, packed in suitcases.
AFP officers then arrested three Canadian nationals, a 63-year-old man, a 28-year-old woman and a 23-year old woman.
All three will face Sydney Central Local court, charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
ABF Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Border Command, Clive Murray said the arrests were the result of international cooperation between a number of organizations including US Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), The New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) .
“Drug syndicates should be on notice that the Australian Border Force is aware of all the different ways they attempt to smuggle drugs into our country and we are working with a range of international agencies to stop them,” Assistant Commissioner Murray said.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Crime Operations Shane Connelly said that the AFP’s first priority will always be the safety of the community, and police will continue to target criminals looking to cause harm in Australia.
“Today’s successful operation has resulted in three arrests and we will not rule out further activity as we continue our investigations.” Assistant Commissioner Connelly said.
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