Thursday, April 30, 2009

Police Foil Two Different Approaches to Smuggling Drugs on Cruise Ships

It seems that drug mules who try to smuggle illegal drugs aboard cruise ships come at both ends of the age spectrum.

Three American women (ages 36, 28 and 19) from the Pittsburgh area were arrested in Curacao when they tried to return to their cruise ship in Curacao with two of them allegedly carrying 24 pounds of illegal drugs taped to their bodies in 16 separate packages. Police said they obtained the drugs in Curacao and intended to smuggle them on Norwegian Spirit, which was making a port call at Curacao during its repositioning cruise from New Orleans to Boston.

What made the police begin to watch the women? They said they stood out from the rest of the passengers because they were so much younger.

Then we have the other end of the spectrum.

Two Spanish women in their 60's were arrested this week when they allegedly tried to bring cocaine into Spain aboard an unidentified cruise ship when it docked at Cadiz. The two women said they were tourists, but police say they are drug mules who picked up 59 pounds of drugs when the ship was in a Brazilian port and were supposed to hand them off to two others in Spain.

Police alleged the older women were used as mules by an organized drug gang with connections in South America and Europe because they would arouse less suspicion. They said it was the first time they have seen that method used. Police also arrested seven other members of the alleged gang.