Home

Cruise Ship Passengers Arrested For Allegedly Smuggling Cocaine In Chip Bags

By Victoria M. Walker

Share

Twelve people were arrested on cocaine smuggling charges March 24 after a cruise ship stopped in Madeira, Portugal, according to a tweet from the National Crime Agency. Those arrested are accused of smuggling over two million dollars worth of cocaine.

Two United Kingdom nationals were among those arrested, the tweet said. The twelve suspects range in age from 20 and 52, and were detained after the ship, MSC Opera, arrived into Funchal from the Caribbean. Four of those arrested were passengers on the cruise ship.

Authorities said the cocaine was found in potato chip bags. Police said 18 kilos of cocaine, as well as money and cell phones, were recovered by Portuguese officials.

“We believe this operation has seriously disrupted an organized crime group looking to traffick cocaine into the UK and Europe,” the National Crime Agency tweeted. “Cocaine generates huge profits for criminals involved in street violence and exploitation, so stopping it will help reduce the harm caused by them.”

The arrests were a joint operation between National Crime Agency, a U.K. agency, and the Judicial Police of Portugal.

“MSC Cruises confirms that it has closely cooperated with the relevant local authorities for the successful completion of a drug trafficking operation regarding the smuggling by passengers of illegal substances on board its MSC Opera,” according to a statement from MSC Cruises provided to Business Insider.


The twelve individuals arrested will be prosecuted in Portuguese courts.

“Working with our Portuguese colleagues we have been able to act on intelligence at speed and prevent this quantity of drugs from reaching its final destination,” from Allan Round, from the Joint Border Intelligence Unit.
According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, cocaine was among the top five drugs seized in Portugal in 2018.

Share
Travel Noire

Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Eliud Kipchoge Makes Kenya Proud As First Person To Run A Marathon In Under 2 Hours

Eliud Kipchoge Makes Kenya Proud As First Person To Run A Marathon In Under 2 Hours

Kenyan Olympic gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge felt pretty good knowing he made history by becoming the first person in history to run a marathon in under two hours. He’s officially joined the ranks of great runners like Usain Bolt, who holds the world record in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4 × 100 meters […]

Rachel George

Drunken Spirit Passenger Thrown Off Flight For Vomiting In Woman’s Hair

Drunken Spirit Passenger Thrown Off Flight For Vomiting In Woman’s Hair

An 8 am Spirit Airlines flight from Chicago to Baltimore was delayed after a drunk passenger was kicked off the plane for throwing up on the female passenger in front of him. The incident, which was captured and posted on social media by traveler Cassidy Smith, occurred on Sunday, October 5th. In the first set […]

Stephanie Ogbogu

Lupita Nyong’o Set To Explore The History Of An  All-Women West African Army In New Film

Lupita Nyong’o Set To Explore The History Of An All-Women West African Army In New Film

Lupita Nyong’o has been a strong force in bringing the stories of black women to the forefront. She’s continuing to leave her mark in the film industry with her newest project, highlighting the real-life stories of African women warriors. Deadline recently released news that Nyong’o will be involved in a documentary about an all-women army […]

Kelsey Marie