British pensioner suspected of smuggling £2m of cocaine on cruise rushed to hospital in Portugal

An elderly British woman suspected of smuggling cocaine into Portugal on a cruise ship has reportedly been taken to hospital.

Sue Clarke, 70, was remanded in custody on December 5 after being arrested a day earlier on a cruise liner with £2 million worth of cocaine when the ship docked at Lisbon Port from the Bahamas.

Her husband Roger, 72, was also held by Portuguese police who boarded MC Marco Polo during the second-to-last stop of their 33-day transatlantic cruise and found nine kilos of the class-A drug in four suitcases in their cabin.

Mrs Clarke suffered a hypertensive crisis – a sharp rise in blood pressure – and was taken to a prison hospital around six miles from Tires Women’s Prison, Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported.

Her condition was unknown late on Thursday night. 

Bizarre smuggling attempts

It was not known if Mr Clarke, who was being held at a men’s prison in Lisbon, had been told about his wife’s condition.

Mr Clarke had reportedly told fellow passengers that they had bought the cases for just £160 on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, adding they would have cost them £1,500 in Harrods.

Portuguese police have said they had intended arresting the couple when the ship arrived at the Madeiran capital Funchal from the Bahamas – but that stop on the tour was cancelled because of bad weather.

They also said it was possible the cocaine, which was hidden inside false bottoms in the luggage – was intended for London because the next and final stop on the cruise was Tilbury in Essex.

The Policia Judiciaria said earlier this week the couple had been arrested thanks to information from the UK’s National Crime Agency.

The couple lived in Guardamar del Segura near Alicante on the Costa Blanca.

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