Joined: May 22, 2003 Posts: 23515 Location: NSW, Australia XP: 1,459,810
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:39 am Post subject: Holiday prize was a drug-smugglers' con, say police
A PERTH couple who believed they had won a holiday to Canada were actually being tricked into becoming unwitting drug mules, police have revealed.
The cruel scam was uncovered earlier this month by Australian Federal Police and Australian Customs officials, who seized $7 million worth of methamphetamine in rock form.
The alleged elaborate con involved a Canadian-based website targeting elderly Australian couples with the potential to win the all-expenses paid trip.
Authorities today detailed how the WA couple, a man aged 72 and woman, 64, were the “lucky” winners, being handed two tickets to Canada, seven nights’ accommodation and new luggage.
After the week-long trip, the couple returned to Australia, but on arrival reported to Customs that they had concerns about their bags.
On examination, 3.5kg of the drug was found hidden inside each case.
The AFP will allege their luggage was swapped while in Canada, with the couple having no clue they were then being duped into carrying the drugs home.
The couple were due to be met on arrival, which set AFP officers on an investigation which led to a search warrant of a car and a room in Scarborough, where documents related to the con, more bags similar to the ones seized, and $15,000 in cash were found.
A 38-year-old Canadian man was arrested at Perth airport, and has subsequently been charged with drug importation offences.
He has already appeared in a Perth court, and will appear again later this year.
David Bachi, the AFP's Perth Airport Commander, said the alleged scam was one of the most elaborate federal officers had come across.
“The organisers of this scam went to great lengths to provide a facade of legitimacy. Thankfully the travellers contacted Customs....allowing us to make the arrest,” said Mr Bachi.
“We will continue working with local and international law enforcement partners, targeting all elements of this drug syndicate.”
Mr Bachi said the scam - through a bogus Canadian tour company called AusCan Tours - appeared to be targeting older Australians.
The Canadian-based website has now been shut down.
“Any persons who have been contacted with similar offers of travel should contact the AFP immediately,” Mr Bachi said.
Jan Hill, the Director of Customs' Airport Operations in Perth, warned travellers about carrying luggage on behalf of someone else, no matter what the circumstance.
“If you've been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, make the right choice and alert local authorities,” Ms Hill said.
“Do not allow another person to pack your bag and do not carry luggage on behalf of another person.”
Joined: Jun 27, 2007 Posts: 1135 Location: Melbourne, Australia XP: 57,060
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:09 pm Post subject:
Lol. _________________________________________________________ Opinions are like arse holes, everybody has one and your's stinks.
funnelweb 360-HQ Enthusiast
Joined: Mar 19, 2011 Posts: 25
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:39 am Post subject:
now thats a scam.
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