Ms Nikolic was arrested and has appeared in court on charges of importing illicit drugs, possession of illicit drugs, and failure to declare arms and ammunition.
Her husband wasn’t arrested, as he is fighting for life in hospital after drinking a substance in an attempt to self-harm.
The 45-year-old drank a potentially deadly cocktail believed to have been made of liquid cocaine and methamphetamine, just as customs officers began their raid.
Through her lawyer, Ms Nikolic begged to be able to see her husband — but her pleas fell on deaf ears, local media reported.
Fiji customs seized what they say was 13kg of cocaine, 2kg of ecstasy, as well as the guns and $20,000 in cash.
Their friend said he couldn’t believe what was being alleged.
“I am shocked that they would knowingly be involved in drugs,” he said.
The friend, who asked not to be identified, had spent time with them on a boat in Australia before their journey so had witnessed their behaviour closely. He worried they had somehow been involved in something sinister — but did not believe the Fijian authorities were involved.
“It’s not the Fijians, but maybe the new crew,” he suggested. “[I] can’t believe they did this. I’d guess there is something else.”
Several people had been on the boat as the crew changed in recent weeks. One of the couple’s last public posts was a message about looking for “replacement crew”.
“We are still looking for suitable replacement crew. We have two possible options so far,” the post read.
They advertised several times for crew who they insisted were nonsmokers. No alcohol was to be drunk on-board as it was a “dry boat”, the ad said.
The friend said the Nikolics took a short break at a small atoll called Percy Island. They posed for photos in hats and sunglasses and took pictures of the yacht club before setting off for Fiji — and into the path of police.
“It was just a great place to break up long leg from Bora Bora to Fiji. They were there for two nights for R&R.”
The Nikolics bought the yacht last year, and on their blog called themselves “newbie” sailors with a “crazy plan” to sail from the US to Queensland.
“Brave and free and wild is the sea,” was one early post.
Their Facebook page said they had been “madly in love” for 25 years.
Ms Nikolic was remanded in custody to appear at Lautoka High Court on July 4, the same day as the court will hear an application for the yacht to be released to her.
In 2014, the Nikolics’ home was raided by Victoria Police, and they were questioned by detectives investigating the murder of trainer Les Samba, 60, who was shot at point-blank range in Melbourne, in February 2013. They were NOT charged.
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Source : News Com AU