Canadian Melina Roberge jailed over cruise ship drug scheme

The suitcase filled with cocaine discovered by Border Force on board MS Sea Princess

Melina Roberge, the 24-year-old cruise ship cocaine importer, wept as she was sentenced to eight years in prison by a judge in Australia.

Three Canadians have pleaded guilty to smuggling 95 kilograms of the drug in suitcases aboard the MS Sea Princess during a seven-week cruise in 2016 from Britain to Ireland, the United States, Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile then Australia.

Roberge was found with drugs worth up to $21.5 million on board the cruise ship Sea Princess which docked in Sydney in August 2016.

Post sounds very normal which most of the youngster would have written of her age but, the twist in the story is that upon arriving Australia, the ship was thoroughly searched and almost 35 kg cocaine was recovered from her cabin and almost 60 kg from the cabin of Andre Tamin, a 60-year-old wealthy Canadian man whom Roberge called as a sugar daddy. The sugar daddy was never identified, CBS News says, with the trio fearing for their families back home.

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Roberge, dubbed "cocaine babe" by Australian media, was sentenced to a non-parole period of 4 years and 9 months in prison, but factoring time already served, she will be eligible for parole in May 2021. "It's for the lifestyle she wants to enjoy".

She admitted: "I have devastated so many people in the process".

Instagram model Melina Roberge, 24, was sentenced in a Sydney, Australia, court on April 18. She was also invited to go on a drug-smuggling trip to Morocco the next year. This relationship, in which Roberge received lavish gifts, enabled her sumptuous lifestyle and allowed Roberge to build her online persona as a part of the enviable Instagram elite.

In court on Wednesday, Judge Kate Traill of the New South Wales District Court acknowledged that Roberge appeared to be truly sorry and had "a great chance of rehab". He was caught with 60kg of the drug in his cabin.

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The judge also said that the case was an example of how social media has harmed a generation of young people and charged that the suspect was living a "vacuous existence".

Roberge, alongside fellow Canadian and former porn star Isabelle Lagace, was offered a first class ticket worth $20,000, in addition to $5,000 in spending money as incentive to participate in the smuggling.

The sentencing comes almost two years after the haul was intercepted by Australian Border Force authorities as the MS Sea Princess entered Sydney.

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