A pair of passengers in their 70s were arrested on a cruise ship after cocaine was discovered in their luggage.
Portuguese authorities found 20 to 22 pounds of cocaine “ingeniously concealed” in their luggage. Authorities believe the 72-year-old man and 70-year-old woman are a couple, BBC reported.
The two were taken off the ship when it made a stop in Lisbon and are being held separately by Portuguese authorities. A joint investigation involving both Portuguese and UK officials is underway, according to the BBC.
The couple was arrested from the Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo cruise ship after a tip from the UK National Crime Agency, Fox News and BBC reported.
The ship departed Tilbury, England on Nov. 5 with 610 passengers. The couple was arrested after the ship docked at a Lisbon port on Dec. 4, according to Fox and BBC.
A police statement, obtained by Sky News, read:
“The arrests took place moments after the vessel had landed at the cruise terminal of Lisbon and following a search in the cabin that was occupied by the suspects, where were located four suitcases in whose structures was ingeniously concealed a high amount of product, more specifically cocaine, that has been seized.”
Portuguese authorities put out a news release on combating drugs on the seas and mentioned the case, but without going into detail.
According to the Cruise and Maritime Voyages website, the Marco Polo is a ship that can hold up to 800 passengers and does not sail with children on board. But children who are 16-years-old and above can sail if accompanied by an adult.
Cruise Ship Troubles
In 2014, an 85-year-old man was killed aboard the Marco Polo. He was killed when a broken window hit him on the head. The window was jolted by a wave that hit the ship as it sailed the English Channel during a severe storm, Independent reported.
The man was killed by the window while he and his wife sat in a restaurant on the ship. His wife, Helen Swinstead, told a court they chose to sit by the window because it had “a lovely view of a rough sea,” Independent reported.
Commenters were unsympathetic to the couple’s alleged actions.
“They wanted to fund their luxurious retirement lifestyle. Now they will spend the rest of it in jail,” commented Elln9 on the Fox News article.
In April, a report surfaced about a male passenger on another British cruise line who was arrested for using the ship to transport drugs, Cruise Law News reported. The passenger was sentenced to 9 years and 6 months in prison. In court, the National Crime Agency proved that the passenger had drug contacts in the Caribbean.
A National Crime Agency officer in the UK said “our investigation involved liaison with law enforcement partners in the Caribbean, and through that, we were able to prove that (his) story was made up . . . it became clear that he had contacts with others involved in drug trafficking on both sides of the Atlantic,” according to reports obtained by Cruise Law News.
From NTD News