Expatica news

Pensioner drug smuggling couple caught with £2 million of cocaine by Portuguese police

Roger Clarke, and his wife SueRoger Clarke, 72, and his wife Sue, 71, were originally arrested on the 4th of December last year in Lisbon after allegedly trying to smuggle £2million of cocaine hidden in their cruise ship cabin. They were caught after their UK-bound ship docked in Lisbon on its way back to the Bahamas.

They have been told by police officials that they will face justice alone after prosecutors admitted that they were unable to identify the drug lords who “recruited” the pensioners.

The Portuguese police found the nine kilos of class-A drug hidden inside four suitcases in the couple’s cabin which Roger, a former lorry driver, had bragged on board of buying for a bargain price on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

The Portuguese state prosecutors revealed a nine-page indictment to the public, which stated that they had ceased their investigation into the Brit pair’s alleged recruiters. The report stated: “Despite all the inquiries carried out to try to identify the people believed to have recruited them to transport the cocaine, it has not been possible to discover these individuals’ full identities or determine their whereabouts.”

The prosecutor outlined the decision to charge them with drugs trafficking, they said “The suspects acted together with the specific purpose of receiving and carrying with them the cocaine and the objective of handing it over to a third party in exchange for money. They were aware of its characteristics, nature, and quantity.”

Moreover, they also destroyed the couple’s hopes of release on bail before their trial took place by describing the evidence against them as “extremely strong” and insisting that there was a high risk they would commit further offences, impede the investigation or abscond if they were let out of prison.

The state prosecutors have not stated if the couple, who have served prison sentences in Norway after being caught smuggling cannabis, had co-operated with authorities following their arrests.

Under Portuguese law the crime they have been charged with carries a prison sentence of up to 12 years.