Roger Clarke, 72, and Sue Clarke, 71, were caught with nine kilograms of cocaine during their luxury Caribbean cruise. The retired chef and his wife, who is a retired secretary, have been sentenced to eight years in jail after a trial in Lisbon's main court. The couple claims that they were unaware of the contents of the suitcase in which the drugs were found.

Roger claims that a friend in the United Kingdom, known as "Lee," had promised to pay him £800 for importing exotic fruits. While on the island of St. Lucia, Roger had been handed four suitcases by one of Lee's contacts. These four suitcases had packets of the drug sewn into the lining.

Britain's National Crime Agency had tipped off the Portuguese police. The drug bust was conducted on December 4, 2018. The couple was removed from the Marco Polo cruise liner and sent to a jail in Portugal.

State prosecutor Manuela Brito denied the Clarke's claims of being in the dark about the contents of the suitcases. Roger had given one of the suitcases he boarded with to a cruise ship staff and gave two more to the person he met on St. Lucia. The couple's original suitcases were replaced by the four suitcases that Lee's contact gave Roger.

Brito also pointed out that the retired couple, who got a joint monthly pension of £1,150, were taking £18k cruise vacations. Roger claimed that even though Lee had paid for the Marco Polo cruise, the couple had paid for their earlier cruises from the money they had saved.

Roger Clarke's original name was Roger Button. The couple had previously been arrested in Norway for possession of cannabis resin in 2010. Roger served five years in prison while Sue served three years nine months.

According to the Telegraph, the couple's request to serve the term in a British jail has been denied. The couple will be serving their 8 year sentence in a Portuguese prison.

cocaine file
Cocaine Reuters