Elderly Cruise Passengers Say They Were Tricked Into Smuggling Cocaine
By Bill Galluccio
September 17, 2019
A British couple is facing charges of drug smuggling after authorities found nearly 20 pounds of cocaine in their stateroom onboard a luxury cruise liner. Roger and Sue Clarke were arrested last December and have denied the charges against them.
Roger, 72, and Sue, 71, claim that they did not know that the cases in their room contained illegal drugs. They told authorities they met a Jamaican businessman who offered to pay for their cruise if they picked up some empty cases from another man.
Officials doubt their story, pointing out that they managed to spend over $20,000 to go on luxury cruises all over the world despite having an income of just $1,100 per month.
"They were made to South America, to countries which were linked to the transport of cocaine to Europe," Policia Judiciaria inspector Carla Nunes wrote in a police report. "While they made their first trip at the beginning of 2017 by plane, they made subsequent trips on cruise ships which allowed them to carry a larger amount of drugs."
In addition, the couple has a previous conviction for drug smuggling after they were busted in Norway, trafficking over 400 pounds cannabis resin in 2010.
The couple faces up to 12 years in jail if they are convicted.
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