Elderly Couple Wins Dream Vacation…Unknowingly They Become Drug Mules

Elderly Couple Wins Dream Vacation…Unknowingly They Become Drug Mules

Australian Federal Police are warning the public about a new scam organized by a fake Canada-based tour that targets the elderly with the promise of free vacations, but with the intention of turning them into unwitting drug mules. This, after an unnamed Perth couple believed they had won and an all-expense paid trip to Canada, when in fact, they were being used to transport drugs. 

The 72-year old man and 64-year-old woman set off for a week long trip to Canada after winning two tickets, seven nights accommodation and new luggage. But when they returned to Perth International Airport on October 13, they told Customs officials that there was something suspicious about their luggage. Upon inspection, officials found 3.5kg of methamphetamine hidden in each of their suitcases.

A 38-year-old Canadian man, who was to meet the couple upon their arrival, was arrested at the airport and charged with importing a commercial quality of methamphetamine. Authorities searched his hotel room in Scarborough and discovered documents believed to be associated with the scam, as well as electronic equipment, $15,000 cash, and two suitcases similar to the ones seized at the airport.

Police feel confident the couple was not aware of the trafficking scheme and the working theory is that their luggage was swapped while they were in Canada.

“The investigation has revealed a complex and highly organised scam in which older Australians appear to be targeted by a bogus Canadian-based tour company identifying themselves as Auscan Tours,” AFP Commander David Bachi said in a statement, adding that the organisers of the scam took great efforts to appear legitimate.“Thankfully the travellers contacted Customs and didn’t dismiss their concerns, allowing us to make the arrest.”

The investigation is on-going.