British pensioners arrested on Caribbean Cruise

The pair, aged 72 and 70, had enjoyed several other luxury cruises in the past.

Caribbean cruiseThe British pensioner couple arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle 2.5 million dollars worth of cocaine into Europe on board their cruise liner, were described today as regular high seas vacationers.

The unnamed couple were arrested on Dec 4 after Portuguese plain-clothes officers boarded the MS Marco Polo as it docked at Lisbon Port’s cruise terminal after it returned from several stops in the Caribbean.

Detectives discovered nine kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of 2.5 million hidden inside four suitcases during a search of their cabin.

Vitor Ananais, who led the operation for the Policia Judiciaria, said: “The man and the woman are English although they don’t live in England but in another European country.

“I can’t say which country at the moment because the investigation is ongoing and I don’t want to compromise what we are doing.

“The arrests took place on December 4. We knew who were looking for and boarded the cruise ship with a search warrant.

“The drugs were hidden in false bottoms in the suitcases and were distributed evenly among the four cases in the cabin.

“There were nine kilos in total.

“The couple appeared in court on December 5. The woman is currently being held at a prison in Tires near Lisbon and the man at prison in Lisbon.

“We believe the couple were given the drugs in a Caribbean island but are still looking into which island at this stage.

“We do not know for sure at the moment where the cocaine was going to be brought ashore. Again that is something that is being probed.

“These are the only arrests so far.”

He added: “The couple were not at all showy and blended in well because most of the other passengers on the cruise liner were elderly.

“They were traveling alone. They didn’t try to protest their innocence after their arrests. They haven’t said anything to police as to how the drugs got in their cases.”

A spokesman for Cruise & Maritime Voyages said: “Portuguese police officials attended the Marco Polo in Lisbon last Tuesday (4 December 2018) and detained two passengers who were traveling on board the Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ vessel.

“It is understood this was in connection with the suspected possession of narcotics. Cruise & Maritime Voyages is co-operating fully with the Portuguese police officials.

“There were 610 passengers and 294 crew on board the ship. Marco Polo continued on her cruise as scheduled and arrived at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury on Saturday 8 December.

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