The treacherous tides of the internet have swept up a pair of unsuspecting old people who just wanted to take a nice vacation from the drudgery of their daily lives in Australia to exotic Canada, land of a thousand enchantments. The couple believed they’d won an all-expenses-paid trip to Canada, complete with brand new luggage, from an online contest they’d entered, but it turned out that they’d actually won an opportunity to transport a whole lot of crystal meth across international borders.
A report that originally appeared in the AFP chronicled the agèd couple’s adventures in drug mulery:
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.
The scam has, since the couple’s return, unravelled pretty quickly. A Canadian was arrested in Perth, where he was apparently going to meet the returning couple, and a subsequent raid produced suitcases similar to the “new luggage” the couple received and $15,000 in cash. Apparently, this is something of a Canadian scamming ring — authorities said bluntly that there are “a lot of Canadians involved in this,” and that scammers have so far targeted older people whose knowledge of the internet is stereotypically impoverished.