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Accused cocaine mules post trip on Instagram

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Island stop-off: Isabelle Lagace in Bermuda

Two women who travelled through Bermuda on a luxury cruise liner this summer have been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling after a huge stash of cocaine was found in a cabin when the liner berthed in Australia.

Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace, both in their 20s and from Quebec, had spent the past two months on the Sea Princess on a round-the-world cruise from England to Australia.

The pair, who documented their voyage on their Instagram accounts, arrived in Bermuda on the morning of July 23 from New York on board the vessel and left later the same day bound for Colombia.

While in Bermuda they visited the South Shore beaches and posted a series of photographs with caption including: “Bermuda was amazing” and “Gone to a place very peaceful, leave a message after the tone”.

But on day 51 of the 68-day cruise, when the ship berthed in Sydney en route to its final destination in Fremantle, the Australian Federal Police boarded the vessel.

A search of two passenger cabins by officers uncovered locked suitcases full of 95 kilograms of cocaine.

The discovery led police to charge Ms Roberge and Ms Lagace, as well as their fellow Canadian traveller Andre Tamine, 63, with trying to import the drugs into Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported the Australian Border Force as saying the trio were working with a “very well-organised syndicate”.

• This article was amended to reflect the fact that the cruise liner left Bermuda to head to Colombia, not Columbia.

Beach break: Melinar Roberge in Bermuda
Drug accused: Melina Roberge