In what could easily be the script for a new Netflix series titled YOLO Is The New Black, two young women documented their lavish 68-day world cruise on Instagram with a series of fun photos from exotic locations in Europe, North America, Central America, South America, and French Polynesia — all before being busted by Australian Border Force with million of dollars worth of cocaine in their suitcases.
22-year-old Melina Roberge and 28-year-old Isabelle Lagacé were arrested on Sunday along with 63-year-old André Tamine when police found 95 kilograms of cocaine in their luggage after their ship, the MS Sea Princess, arrived in Sydney. According to Australian Border Force commander Tim Fitzgerald, 35 kilograms of cocaine were found in the cabin shared by Melina and Isabella, while 60 kilograms of the drug were found in Andre’s luggage in a separate cabin. The total value of the drugs confiscated is estimated to me more than $23 million US dollars. It is still unknown how or if André and the young women are connected.
From the official press release issued by The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection:
On Sunday 28 August, ABF officers boarded the vessel 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, approximately 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 today (Monday 29 August), charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
Here is a photo of one of the suitcases:
As I mentioned above, Melina and Isabella, who are both from Quebec, documented their travels over the last 10 weeks on Instagram, including stops in Colombia, Peru and other locations known for cocaine production. As you might imagine, given the end result of their trip, some of the photos and captions take on a slightly different meaning than they did when they were initially posted.
“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,” Melina captioned one photo from South America. “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 • 💯🌍”
On a couple of photos of herself getting a tattoo in French Polynesia, Melina explained what her ink meant: “➰ : means the protection of the traveler 🌐” She captioned another photo while getting the tattoo: “French Polynesia got us like … 💉🌎 #dumbanddumber”
Meanwhile, Isabella captioned one of her photos from Colombia by writing: “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. #TravelIsLife #Freedom ❤️”
Below is a complete timeline of photos of the cruise from both Melina and Isabella, but before I started, I wanted to share this next picture posted by Isabella prior to embarking on their trip in which she is thrilled to have gotten a Felony case for her phone:
(If you pay close attention to the photos below, you will see the Felony case make a second appearance.)
OK, here is the complete timeline of photos from both Isabella and Melina arranged chronologically — starting in London:
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 • 💯🌍