Edition 1517
16 March 2019
Edition: 1517

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Pensioner couple arrested for ‘smuggling drugs on a cruise ship’

by Carrie-Marie Bratley, in Regional · 13-12-2018 09:40:00 · 0 Comments

A “foreign couple” in their 70’s were arrested by Portuguese police just moments after their cruise ship docked in Lisbon, after suitcases stuffed with around €2 million worth of cocaine were found in their cabin.

Pensioner couple arrested for ‘smuggling drugs on a cruise ship’

PJ police, in collaboration with the Maritime Police, made the arrests onTuesday 4 December, after the ship, the Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, docked in the Portuguese capital.
A statement from the PJ police said the couple, aged 70 and 72, were arrested due to “strong suspicion of the crime of international drug trafficking”.
The PJ explained the action was the result of a “permanent exchange of information and cooperation” between itself and the competent UK authorities, namely the National Crime Agency.
“The arrests took place moments after the vessel docked at the Lisbon Cruise Terminal and following a search of the cabin that was occupied by the suspects, where four suitcases were located, in which a large amount of product, more specifically cocaine, was ingeniously concealed”.
The force said they found 9-10kg of the class A drug, believed to have a street value of around €2 million, hidden in the four suitcases, which were seized.
The couple have been identified as British by the media but reportedly do not live in the UK.
The vessel had departed London Tilbury (UK) on 5 November to cruise the West Indies and the Azores, with 610 passengers and 294 crew on board.
“Marco Polo continued on her cruise as scheduled and arrived at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury on Saturday 8 December”, its operators said, adding: “Cruise & Maritime Voyages do not tolerate any criminal activity or anti-social behaviour on board their ships”, and are “co-operating fully with the Portuguese police officials”.
The pensioners have been remanded in custody and an investigation is ongoing, conducted by both Portuguese and UK authorities.

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Edition 1517
16 March 2019
Edition: 1517

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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