One of the Quebecers accused of importing a cargo of cocaine worth 16 million dollars on a cruise in 2016, said Wednesday in a Sydney court that the only role she played in this operation was to serve as a front and Show herrself as if she were on vacation.
Melina Roberge, 24 years old, made this statement during her hearing. Last month, she was to be tried on charges of attempting to import commercial quantities of cocaine into Australia, but decided to plead guilty.
Melina Roberge told the court on Wednesday that she had first rejected the offer she called her “old money lover” (“Sugar Daddy”) to transport the cocaine in their suitcases. Then she accepted when she was offered a free cruise.
During her testimony, Melina Roberge began to cry when she said that she never thought about the consequences of her actions. She says that in the Sydney prison she found women with problems of drug dependence and that she did not want to become like them.
Her lawyer, Avni Djemal, alleges that his client is young and naive and that she played no role in cocaine trafficking. For his part, prosecutor Tom Muir argued before the court that Melina Roberge knew very well what she was doing and that she had wanted to have a way of life that she liked.
The other Québec involved in this traffic, Isabelle Lagacé, was sentenced last November to 7 years and 6 months in prison. Isabelle Lagacé told the court that she was involved in the traffic because it allowed her to earn a sum of money that would have allowed her to pay a debt.
The other Québécois, André Tarmine, 65, will receive his sentence in October.
The 3 Quebecers were carrying 95 kilos of cocaine during a 7-week cruise that left Britain. The MS Sea Princess ship made stops in the United States, Bermuda, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, before crossing the Pacific Ocean and arriving in Australia in August 2016.
Source: Radio Canada International