Elderly cruise passengers claim they were tricked into smuggling 20 pounds of cocaine
UNITED KINGDOM - Nothing ruins a vacation like getting arrested for smuggling drugs.
An elderly British couple has been accused of drug trafficking and is facing up to 12 years in prison if convicted. They claim that a mysterious businessman tricked them, but authorities aren’t buying it.
Roger and Sue Clarke were arrested last December, The Sun reports. Authorities allegedly discovered nine kilos (20 pounds) of cocaine hidden inside four travel cases in their cabin on a cruise ship near Lisbon, Portugal.
The couple claims, however, that they were unaware of the drugs. According to them, a Jamaican businessman named Lee paid for their cruises and simply asked them to pick up “empty” cases from a middleman. They also claimed that Lee asked them to purchase exotic fruit for him.
The couple was previously convicted in 2010 for trafficking cannabis resin near Norway.
In the current case, authorities believe that the couple had made contact with drug trafficking organizations multiple times from 2017 to 2018.
According to authorities, Roger, 72, and Sue, 71, were living off about $1,106 a month but were somehow able to afford to spend approximately $22,500 on luxury cruises over a two-year period. A diary kept by the couple revealed that they had traveled to Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean.
The couple is scheduled to appear in court in Lisbon Tuesday, where they are expected to deny the charges. The couple has reportedly been in custody since their arrest in December. If found guilty, they could face up to 12 years in jail.