If you thought smuggling drugs onboard a cruise ship was in poor judgment, you may be right after all. Four people who were arrested in October for attempting to smuggle 20 kilos of cocaine worth £1.7 million aboard P&O Cruises' Arcadia have been sentenced -- to a combined 48 years in prison.
Camille Dupee (19), Briony Dyce (25), Calvin Hylton (41) and Natalie Quinn (26) were each handed 12 year sentences. All had previously pleaded guilty to the offence at Southampton Crown Court on 15 December 2008.
The smugglers, all passengers aboard Arcadia, were caught by UK Border Agency (UKBA) detection officers in the Customs' channels at Southampton Mayflower Cruise Terminal on 19 October 2008. The product in question was strapped to their bodies. Arcadia was returning to Southampton after a 23-night cruise to the Caribbean.
Cases of individuals simultaneously vacationing and smuggling drugs are not unheard of. In April of this year, a cocaine bust took place aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas during a 10-night Panama Canal cruise. In 2004, police in Tampa arrested 52 people involved in an operation in which, that's right, crack cocaine was being smuggled into New Orleans via cruise ship.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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Drug Smugglers Caught on P&O Cruises' Arcadia Sentenced
January 16, 2009