Elderly British couple convicted of smuggling cocaine in Portugal

Roger Clarke and Sue Clarke, a British couple accused of smuggling drugs aboard a cruise ship, arrive at the court in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sept 26, 2019.
Roger Clarke and Sue Clarke, a British couple accused of smuggling drugs aboard a cruise ship, arrive at the court in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sept 26, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

LISBON (AP) - A Portuguese court has convicted an elderly British couple of drug trafficking after police apprehended them on a cruise ship with 9 kg of cocaine hidden in their suitcases.

The court sentenced the pair, who are in their 70s, to eight years in prison.

Their lawyer, Susana Paisana, says she will consider appealing Thursday's (Sept 26) verdict.

Police arrested the couple last December in Lisbon, following contacts with Britain's National Crime Agency.

Officers searched the couple's cabin after their cruise ship from the Caribbean to Europe docked in Lisbon. They said they found cocaine with a street value in Portugal of around 300,000 euros (S$500,000) in four suitcases.

The couple reportedly told the court they had been duped into taking the suitcases by a Jamaican man.