Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Canadians charged after 95 kilograms of cocaine found on cruise ship - Update II

Karim Abu AichiKarim Abu Aichi, 31, launched a short lived 'Go Fund Me' page for the defense of Isabelle Lagace and Melina Roberce. The page has been pulled.

He was arrested in 2011 with 24 others in connection with operation Carcan, an operation targeting the Hells Angels on the South Shore of Montreal. He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy, drug trafficking and gangsterism.

Melina Roberge, 22, and Isabelle Lagacé, 28, are from Quebec.
In 2011, the Sûreté du Québec noted for the first time that Canadian and Quebec-based cocaine traffickers had an interest in Australia, during an investigation targeting individuals linked to the Hells Angels and an Irish organized crime group in Montreal.

During a bail hearing in May 2015, a Sûreté du Québec investigator explained that in this region of the world, a kilogram of cocaine cost three times as much as in Canada “because of the difficulty of getting it in.”

Melina Roberge - Estimated cost of the Princess cruise was $ 20,000 per ticket.

Quebec drug fugitive Frédéric Lavoie was found dismembered in Colombia
The investigator noted that in their probe, one of the members, Frederic Lavoie, who has since been killed, exchanged encrypted text messages with an individual who asked if he had any drug mules available to send to Australia.

It was reported each kilogram of cocaine could be worth $160,000 in Australia.
Police in Sydney have arrested three Canadian cruise ship passengers on charges of drug smuggling.

Authorities found $31 million worth of cocaine in the passengers' luggage -- representing the largest seizure in Australia of narcotics carried by passengers of a cruise ship or airliner. Andre Tamine, 63, Isabelle Lagace, 28 and Melina Roberce, 22 were arrested Sunday after the M-S Sea Princess berthed in Sydney.
The Sea Princess is part of the Princess Cruises fleet which had started its journey in Southampton, England. Police believe it's a case of an organized crime syndicate attempting to supply large quantities of cocaine to Australia.

Officers initially searched one cabin where they found a suitcase containing about 35 kilograms of cocaine in numerous packages and then searched another cabin where they found suitcases containing a further 60 kilograms of the drug. The trio will remain in custody until their next appearance on October 26. The maximum penalty for drug importation in Australia is life imprisonment.