Couple 'Win' Vacation, End Up as Drug Mules
Canadian arrested in connection with bogus trip contest
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2013 1:50 PM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2013 6:27 AM CDT
Packages containing methamphetamine are stacked in a warehouse in Melbourne, Australia.   (AP Photo/Australian Federal Police, HO)

(Newser) – If an all-expenses paid trip to Canada, including accommodations and new luggage, sounds too good to be true, well, hindsight is 20/20. An Australian couple thought they'd won a dream vacation when they were revealed as the "lucky" winners of a contest they'd entered online. It turns out the competition, from bogus Canada-based tour company AusCan Tours, was effectively an application to be drug mules. When the Perth couple, ages 64 and 72, returned home to Australia a little suspicious about their bags, they alerted the airport's customs officials, who found $7 million in crystal meth stashed in the lining, the AFP reports. Australian police think the couple's luggage was switched in Canada.

A Canadian was arrested in Perth—he was apparently supposed to meet the couple upon arrival—and a raid turned up suitcases similar to those seized, related documents, and $15,000 in cash. The scam, uncovered earlier this month, apparently targeted older people, and there are "a lot of Canadians involved in this," a reporter told the CBC, citing eight arrests over the last year and a half. Meanwhile, the victims are warning others: "Be very careful if you win anything," the woman told the Australian. "I could have ended up in jail for 25 years, and they could have ruined my life."

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Showing 3 of 52 comments
Ian Chong
Oct 27, 2013 9:45 AM CDT
25 years in jail? Puhlease. Come to Singapore and you will be executed. No exceptions, not even your president can plead for your leniency.
Oct 26, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
I agree with creators1, there are no dream vacations in Canada - (unless you are into fishing.) NOW....if this couple were American, and had flown back to the USA, and had reported the meth to the authorities, they would have been thrown into prison for the rest of their lives. The draconian drug laws and people who enforce them would make sure of it. Evidently the authorities in Australia still are able to think and reason enough to see that this older couple was duped into breaking the law.
Oct 25, 2013 11:58 PM CDT
I think the biggest problem here is the couple thought that going to Canada was a dream vacation.