Fiji police swooped a catamaran and smashed an alleged $20million drug & guns ring.
The Australian horse trainer and his wife claimed to be on a romantic trip of a lifetime
John Nikolic, 45, is fighting for life in hospital after reportedly drinking a toxic substance following his arrest, while his wife Yvette is behind bars charged with importing millions of dollars' worth of cocaine and firearms.
Fiji Police allege 13 bars of cocaine and ecstasy tablets were last week found aboard their boat, Shenanigans, along with US$15,000 of undeclared cash, guns and ammunition.
Yvette is said to have begged the magistrate in court on Monday to let her see her critically ill husband at Lautoka hospital, amid reports he had attempted to self-harm.
In the lead up to their arrest, the pair posted dozens of loved-up snaps aboard their yacht, sharing their adventures at sea as they sailed from South America en route to Queensland, predicting 'good things were on their way'.
'And we're off. Just the two of us. See ya Columbia! Panama we're coming for you,' they wrote on Facebook early in their voyage, including a 'feeling positive' emoji in the post.
'Bye bye Panama and bye bye land for about four weeks. Pacific Ocean bound,' the pair later wrote, with several friends urging them to 'stay safe'.
In the lead up to their voyage, the Nikolics described themselves as 'newbie' sailors.
'John and Yvette have been madly in love for 25 years. The love of sailing, however, is a new passion for both of them,' their Facebook page reads.
'This crazy plan has been in the works for about one-and-a-half years. We are newbie sailors and this is our first boat. Steep learning curve you say? Damn straight!'
The Nikolic family has previously seen its fair share of controversy.
In 2015, John Nikolic was banned from attending racecourses and attending Melbourne's casino following a series of scandals.
Fijian customs chief Visvanath Das said Thursday's arrests were a testament to the commitment of the national police force.
'I applaud the collaboration and efforts of our officers in successfully intercepting illicit drugs, undeclared currency and weapons,' he said.
The statement also said the arrests were a warning to foreign drug-smugglers.
Police commissioner Rusiate Tudravo said: 'This should send a strong warning to others that we have a close eye on our borders.'
A Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said that they have consular staff providing assistance to the Nikolic family.
Two others, understood to be a Frenchman and an American, were also arrested.
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Source : Daily Mail Online