UPDATE: A WA couple were unwittingly used as drug mules to smuggle $7 million of methamphetamine into Australia in an elaborate competition scam.
Federal authorities uncovered the crime, which involved victims "winning" a paid overseas holiday and new suitcases, after the couple alerted Customs officers at Perth International Airport on October 13 that they had concerns about their luggage.
The 64-year-old woman, known as Sue, said she was suspicious the free Canadian holiday was too good to be true and when they were given heavier new suitcases while overseas, she feared something was wrong.
Searches of the cases found 7kg of crystal methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $7 million hidden in the lining.
"When Customs found the drugs, I was relieved because I felt there was something wrong and I was relieved I'd told them," Sue said.
"But I was also frightened I'd be locked up."
Sue did not want to think about taking illicit drugs through Canada.
Authorities then arrested a Canadian man, 38, at Perth Airport as he allegedly waited to meet the couple and later charged him with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
They also searched a hire car and a Scarborough hotel room, where they seized documents allegedly linked to the scam, two suitcases similar to those given to the couple and $15,000 cash.
Cdr David Bachi, of Perth Airport Federal Police, alleged a drug syndicate was targeting older Australians using fake Canadian-based tour company AusCan tours.
Sue and her 72-year-old partner had gone to Canada after "winning" a fake internet-based competition.
It is the first Australian authorities have heard of the complex scam and Cdr Bachi said it demonstrated the lengths criminals would go to import drugs.
Sue and her partner were looking online for a holiday, and after entering the online competition she was contacted.
"Be very careful if you win anything," Sue said.
"I could have ended up in jail for 25 years, and they could have ruined my life.
"So be very wary, be very careful and check everything out."
Jan Hill, the Director of Customs' Airport Operations in Perth, warned travellers about carrying luggage on behalf of someone else, no matter what the circumstance.
"If you've been asked to carry something on behalf of another person, make the right choice and alert local authorities," Ms Hill said.
"Do not allow another person to pack your bag and do not carry luggage on behalf of another person."Anyone who thinks they have been caught by the scam is asked to call the AFP on 131 237.