Australia Seizes Record Cocaine Haul From Cruise Ship

Three Canadians charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

An armed policeman stands next to packs of cocaine at the organized crime prosecutor' office in Bucharest, Romania, July 1, 2016.
Andreea Alexandru, AP

REUTERS - Australian customs officers seized a record 95 kilograms (210 pounds) of cocaine from a cruise ship docked in Sydney Harbour following a joint operation over the weekend and leading to the arrest of three Canadians, the officials said on Monday. 

It was the biggest drug seizure at an airport or a cruise ship in Australia, Tim Fitzgerald, a regional commander at the Australian Border Force, said.

Customs officers boarded the vessel and searched cabins with the help of sniffer dogs, they said in a statement. 

"It was during the search of the cabin ... that we identified a number of suitcases in the cabin itself that were locked. Itemizer or trace technology was used to scan the outside of those suitcases and as a result a number of tests came positive for the presence of cocaine," Fitzgerald said. 

The Canadians were charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, for which the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.