Canada 'holiday' prize came with drug mule luggage

2013-10-25 09:33
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Avoid lost luggage

Here are eight simple rules to help ensure your luggage doesn't get lost.

Sydney - It seemed like a dream come true - a free holiday to Canada complete with new luggage - until the Australian couple involved realised they had unwittingly become drug mules.

Australian Federal Police on Friday said the pair, a 72-year-old man and 64-year-old woman, told Customs officials they had some concerns about their bags when they returned to Perth International Airport on October 13.

On examination, some 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine was found stashed within the lining of each bag, which police reportedly believe were swapped while in Canada.

"The Australian Federal Police will allege the couple were victims of an elaborate scam and were unwitting participants in the drug importation," police said in a statement.

Authorities said the scam by a bogus Canada-based tour company calling itself "AusCan Tours" apparently targetted older people, offering two tickets to Canada, seven nights' accommodation and new luggage as a prize.

"The organisers of this scam went to great lengths to provide a facade of legitimacy," Perth airport police commander David Bachi said.

"Thankfully the travellers contacted Customs and didn't dismiss their concerns, allowing us to make the arrest."

Authorities arrested a 38-year-old Canadian man at the airport the day the couple returned and have since charged him with importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.

A raid on a hotel in the Perth suburb of Scarborough uncovered documents allegedly associated with the scam, along with electronic equipment, two suitcases (similar to the ones seized at the airport) and Aus$15 000 (R140 000 at R9.39/Aus$) in cash.

The Customs director at Perth airport, Jan Hill, warned travellers about carrying someone else's luggage.

"If you've been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, make the right choice and alert local authorities," she said.

"Do not allow another person to pack your bag and do not carry luggage on behalf of another person."

Read more on:    travel  |  lifestyle  |  travel international

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel

 
/News

#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.