Pro Tip: Don’t Instagram Your Trip Around The World While Smuggling Cocaine
If you weren’t already aware, Instagram can be deceiving. For example, take the case of the Canadian woman arrested for drug smuggling after Instagramming her travels around the world. Mélina Roberge, 22, was arrested in Sydney, Australia when she and two others got off a ship with about $30 million worth of cocaine in their suitcases. Isabelle Lagacé, 28, was also arrested on drug charges and spent two months traveling around on the MS Sea Princess cruise ship with Roberge, but she didn’t show off her luxury vacation the way her travel buddy did.
Tickets for the MS Sea Princess cost $20,000, according to Vice, and travels from Southampton, England to Sydney. Roberge’s Instagram photos show her flying to London and then vacationing off the ship from New York to Bermuda to Peru. She rode an ATV, drank coconut water in the ocean, hung out in a cat park, and strolled through local markets.
One photo caption reads: “Traveling is one thing … But traveling 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. 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 probably wouldn’t mind going back to her small Canadian town now that she faces life in an Australian prison.
Australian police found 200 pounds of cocaine in Roberge’s and Lagacé’s luggage, as well as a 63-year-old Canadian man, Andre Jorge Tamine, though it’s unclear exactly how Tamine fits into the scheme. All three have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, which has a maximum sentence of life if convicted.
Australian Border Force commander Tim Fitzgerald told the BBC this was the largest Australian drug seizure from a boat or plane.
A photo posted by @melinar___ on
Although the path through South America looks suspicious, the police haven’t determined whether the trio picked up the drugs along the way or brought them on the ship when boarding in the U.K. They’ll go to court in October, presumably staying in Australia until then.
Going to jail really puts a damper on such a grand vacation, but at least Roberge will always have her Insta photos to look back at with nostalgia. Although, she probably won’t have access to an iPhone in prison, so maybe this was all just a terrible idea.