“Jesus Christ!”- Stunned British pensioners jailed for smuggling 2 million euros of cocaine on Caribbean cruise
An elderly British pensioner moaned “Jesus Christ” as he was jailed along with his wife for smuggling 2 million euros of cocaine on a luxury cruise.
Roger Clarke, 72, whispered “I wasn’t expecting more than four” to wife Sue, 71, as they were both sentenced to be jailed for eight years in Lisbon today.
The couple were arrested on board the Marco Polo cruise liner in December, when cops found nine kilos of coke in the lining of four suitcases Roger was given on St Lucia. SEE MORE…
The Clarke’s had been in the middle of a 7000 euro Caribbean cruise when Portuguese officials were tipped off by UK cops. SEE MORE…
Roger told the trial in Lisbon he had no idea drugs were in the cases and he was taking them back to the UK for a friend called “Lee”.
Clarke told the court “Lee” was a UK-based Jamaican businessman who worked with an associate called “Dee”’ who he named in court as “George Wilmot”.
The ex-chef whispered to his wife in court: “Jesus Christ, I wasn’t expecting more than four” as they were sentenced and ordered to serve their sentences in a Portuguese prison. Mr Clarke held hands with his wife as they learnt their fate through a translator before blurting out his shock at the length of his sentence.
He claimed he had been helping Lee and Dee negotiate the import of “exotic fruit” and had agreed to carry the suitcases as a favour. He said he had been promised £800 and bragged he could sell the suitcases for a massive profit at Harrods.
State prosecutor Manuela Brito attacked his claims, insisting that the Brit couple were established drug mules, who used four cruises to South America in two years as a front. Prosecutor Brito questioned how they could pay for the 20000 euros of cruises on a joint monthly pension of 1300 euros with a rent of 500 euros.
The couple said they had saved for them – but in reality the couple were allegedly making up to 30000-euros-a-cruise from smuggling.
Ex-secretary Sue, originally of Wellingborough, said she only knew her husband’s business associates socially and never accompanied him when he negotiated “fruit sales”.
Mr Clarke, originally of Kent, and mum-of-three Sue both served prison sentences in Norway after being convicted in 2010 for trafficking 240 kilos of cannabis resin. Clarke said he got into drugs-running to clear debts and was made to do more with his wife as cover after being threatened with violence by gangster paymasters if he stopped.
The expat pair, who were living in Guardamar del Segura, near Alicante, Spain, were convicted of drugs trafficking following a one-day trial on Tuesday. The offence can carry a prison sentence of up to 12 years in Portugal.
Roger, who switched to the last name Clarke from Button after being released from prison in Norway, was jailed for nearly five years.
Sue was jailed for three years and nine months. They have already served nine months in custody.
Despite being asked for a switch to British prisons to serve their sentences at home, they were ordered to remain in their separate Portuguese prisons.