Tricking people into being drug mules is latest alarming travel scam

Packages containing methamphetamine are stacked in a warehouse in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Australian Federal Police, HO)

Packages containing methamphetamine are stacked in a warehouse in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Australian Federal Police, HO)

Well, this is simply diabolical. A fake Canadian-based company calling themselves AusCan Tours baited an older Australian couple with a fake online contest and a first prize of an all-expenses-paid week in Canada, including new luggage (foreshadowing!), all the while priming them to smuggle 3.5kg (8 pounds) of crystal meth, worth about $7 million, back into Australia.

At some stage during their trip to Canada, their new luggage was swapped with identical, drug-lined bags. Fortunately, the couple sensed something wasn’t right and reported themselves to customs agents when they landed back in Perth.

Apparently this is not a one-off thing. Canadian officials say they’ve arrested eight people in the past 1.5 years involved with the intricate scam.

Though this particular scam targeted older folks, it’s not difficult to imagine something similar happening to inexperienced, aspiring world travelers. Also, does anyone else sense a screenplay coming out of this?

Moral of the story: As always, never carry bags someone else has given to you. And be highly suspicious of free stuff, particularly from the internet. And Canada.

[Via]

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