74-year-old British cruise ship cocaine-smuggler moves from Portugal to UK to serve sentence

74-year-old British cruise ship cocaine-smuggler moves from Portugal to UK to serve sentence

A British pensioner convicted of smuggling cocaine aboard a cruise ship has relocated from Portugal to the United Kingdom in order to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Roger Clarke, age 74, is serving the remaining eight years of his sentence at a Surrey prison.A British cruise ship cocaine-smuggling pensioner has moved from Portugal to the UK to finish his prison sentence after his jailed wife died of breast cancer. Pictured, Roger and Sue Clarke

Last year, he requested that he and his wife, Sue Clarke, return to the United States so that she could be closer to her family, since she had become “gravely ill.”

She died at the age of 72 from breast cancer, following which Clarke was relocated from his Lisbon prison.

During a one-day trial in 2019, three judges convicted the retired couple of narcotics trafficking after they smuggled £1 million worth of cocaine onboard a Caribbean cruise ship. They were given a total of eight years in prison.

A British pensioner convicted of smuggling cocaine aboard a cruise ship has relocated from Portugal to the United Kingdom in order to serve the remainder of his sentence. Roger and Sue Clarke are depicted in this photograph.

The depicted couple, originally from Kent but residing in Guardamar, Spain, were sentenced to eight years in prison for their involvement in a narcotics smuggling ring.

The pair, who were originally from Kent but resided in Guardamar, Spain, were apprehended when plainclothes officers from Portugal’s serious crimes investigation agency, the Policia Judiciaria, boarded the Marco Polo and discovered 20lb of Class A drugs stitched into the lining of their four suitcases.

On December 4, 2018, the Portuguese authorities conducted arrests in Lisbon based on information from the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom and Spanish law enforcement.The couple, pictured, originally from Kent but who lived in Guardamar, Spain, were given eight-year sentences for their drug smuggling operation

The pair was informed that they would spend their eight-year sentences in Portugal rather than in the United Kingdom.

Clarke has been sent to HMP High Down in Barnstead, according to The Daily Mirror.

A source informed the news outlet, “Roger fought for months to be transported to the United Kingdom; he asked British authorities to intervene.”Plain-clothes officers from the Policia Judiciaria — Portugal's serious crimes investigation agency — boarded the ship and found 20lb of the Class A drugs stitched into the lining of their four suitcases. Pictured, the suitcases being opened

On boarding the ship, plainclothes investigators from Portugal’s severe crimes investigative agency, the Policia Judiciaria, discovered 20lb of Class A drugs sewed into the lining of their four luggage. The suitcases are depicted being opened.

The Portuguese authorities made the arrest in Lisbon on December 4, 2018, after the Marco Polo ship docked, based on information from the British National Crime Agency.

Clarke had previously complained about the severe jail conditions at EP Lisbon, claiming he dropped six stone and had a possible heart attack.

He also claimed that he and his wife were ‘innocent’ and pleaded with former prime minister Boris Johnson to investigate the couple’s case.

Before his extradition, he was sent to a lower-security location the previous year.

His wife, who died in October of the previous year, was imprisoned at Tires.

The pair was apprehended in Norway in 2010 for possessing 240 kilograms of cannabis.

They fled the Scandinavian nation but were eventually extradited and tried upon their return. According to the police, they took four cruises in two years, using each one as a front to earn up to £26,500 per trip.

Roger was sentenced to five years in prison, whereas Sue was handed four, of which she served the final year at Holloway prison in North London.

The Portuguese Prison Service announced Clarke’s extradition to the United Kingdom.

The cocaine con artists: a convicted felon who posed as a respectable foreigner in order to convert their naive acquaintances into drug mules, and a mother who abandoned her children in order to be with him.
Daily Mail article by Paul Bracchi

Roger and Susan Clarke were well-known among the Costa Blanca expat community.

The elderly couple resided in a whitewashed villa with a roof terrace and tower in the Guardamar del Segura resort, south of Alicante.

Roger’s pals sent him a garden gnome statue for his 70th birthday as a humorous reference to his Britishness.

Roger and Sue had thoroughly embraced their new life since moving to the town, which is popular with British retirees.

He was a member of the golf society at a bistro bar managed by the British. She participated in yoga and cycling classes. They were both members of a wine club and regulars at restaurants in Guardamar. They were, in essence, standard expatriates. Or so it appeared. However, those who were invited back to their home were astonished to discover it virtually deserted.

One fellow expat said, “They had no other personal items outside their clothing.” It was quite peculiar. They maintained it as if it were a residence they would have to abandon in a hurry.

Could there be more than a grain of truth to such statement? Given the spectacular events that transpired on the Clarkes’ £3,000-per-person cruise, it is difficult not to reach this conclusion.

The Marco Polo, en way from the Bahamas to Tilbury, Essex, had just moored in Lisbon when plainclothes officers from Portugal’s serious crimes investigative agency, the Policia Judiciaria, boarded the vessel.

The cruise liner Marco Polo, where the pair was apprehended.

The Portuguese authorities acted based on intelligence provided by the British National Crime Agency in collaboration with Spanish law enforcement.

The subject of the “tip off” was none other than 72-year-old Roger Clarke and his 70-year-old, grey-haired, glasses-wearing wife Sue; someone in Guardamar characterized her as “meek and gentle tempered.”

Four false-bottomed suitcases containing 9kg (20lb) of cocaine with a street worth of £2 million were found concealed in their cabin on the Marco Polo.

In August 2018, a five-member gang in Leeds was sentenced to a total of 61 years in prison after being caught with 7.6kg of cocaine, which puts the alleged stockpile uncovered by the elderly into perspective.

Appearances can be deceiving, but never more so than in the case of the Clarkes, who lived in protected housing in Kent prior to relocating to Spain.

In fact, it appears that nearly everything about them was a fiction.

Roger Clarke informed everyone in Guardamar del Segura that he formerly worked as a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant and owned two restaurants in Benidorm.

He was actually a London-based truck driver. It is quite unlikely that Roger and Susan Clarke are married. Our study has uncovered no evidence of a marriage certificate in this nation.

Interestingly, their detention in Lisbon has not come as a shock to many who knew them in the United Kingdom.

A former friend stated, “When we heard that a British couple from Spain had been arrested for drug smuggling, Roger and Susan’s names quickly came to mind.” We were just thinking that they were up to their old pranks.

This is because both parties had been imprisoned on the continent previously.

Pictured is the residence of Roger and Susan in Guardamar del Segura, south of Alicante.

A buddy informed us that they were detained in Norway a decade ago after being discovered with drugs. On that occasion, the two was able to escape, but they were eventually deported back to the Scandinavian country and tried there.

Roger Clarke was sentenced to five years in prison, while his ‘wife’ received four years; she served the final year in Holloway prison in North London.

How could anyone in Guardamar del Segura have imagined that the elderly couple with a garden gnome in front of their home were convicted international drug traffickers who were going to be arrested again?

Even on the Costa, which has long drawn people with secrets to conceal, Roger and Susan Clarke’s story stands apart.

One British couple who knew them in Guardamar stated that ‘Roger and Sue’ offered them a free Caribbean vacation in exchange for carrying their luggage, but they declined the’shady’ offer.

Indeed, when we learn more about the septuagenarians, the plot comes to resemble that of a television drama.

Let’s begin with the ‘kind’ Sue Clarke. Three children are the result of her first marriage. Susan and her ex spouse, an actor, were married for around 25 years before they divorced.

She remained in the married residence in Cheadle, Cheshire, to care for the late-teenaged children. According to individuals who knew the family in the late 1990s, up until that moment she had been a “normal, loving mother” to her children.

Then, upon meeting Roger Clarke, she allegedly “abandoned” them. Susan worked as a secretary for the now-defunct Manchester-based holiday airline Air 2000, where a former coworker recalled, “She simply abandoned her children with her husband and went off.” She had to make a decision, and she opted to begin a new life with Roger, without the children.

‘The children were adolescents, so you can assume that they were upset. Since then, they have had little contact with their mother.

According to what I’ve been informed, she has never made an attempt at reconciliation. She has kept a great deal of distance.

Susan was’smitten’ with Roger Clarke, according to a colleague, who described him as a ‘brash cockney’ who was’very self-confident’

Was his actual name Roger Clarke? Those introduced to him knew him as Roger Button, and he is listed under that name in the Whitefield, Manchester, one-bedroom apartment where he and Susan first resided.

Given what we now know, it is understandable why ‘Roger Button,’ a truck driver who was traveling throughout Europe, could have wished to reinvent himself as Roger Clarke. Susan and he later relocated to the South, settling in Dorking, Surrey, and Betchworth, close to Reigate, where they enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle that included frequent Caribbean cruises.

Where they obtained their funds, though, remained a mystery.

Until, that is, news from Norway of the first arrest and subsequent detention reached Britain.

Obviously, the authorities alerted Susan’s closest family. Therefore, her children would have learned that their mother, who had abandoned them, languished in a foreign prison.

Following their release from prison, the pair moved to a retirement community in Orpington, Kent, where they remained between 2013 and 2016.

They subsequently appeared on the Costa Blanca.

They were initially popular, but Roger Clarke’s brashness and impoliteness began to grate. A resident remarked, “He ordered drinks without saying “hello,” even though the staff tried to teach him how to be more polite by teaching him the phrase in Spanish.” He clearly enjoyed drinking. I observed him consuming brandy and beer for breakfast.

He also earned the moniker “Mr. Bull****er” since, depending on who he was speaking with, he had been a great chef, paramedic, or SAS member.

But one narrative remained constant: he claimed he still imported pineapples from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom, which explained their frequent cruises to the region.

Plumber Paul and Pauline Craven knew the Clarkes better than anyone else in Guardamar del Segura.

Pauline, 60, from Bolton, Lancashire, said, “I took a part-time job cleaning their villa close where we live, and they rapidly became our friends.” When they offered to treat us to a cruise, we were honored. It was the ultimate fantasy.

Roger told me about his pineapple import business and asked me to accompany his wife aboard the ship. They offered to cover all costs.

Then they advised us to purchase designer suitcases in the Caribbean because we could purchase them cheaply and resell them at Harrods for two or three times the price.

“At first, I didn’t give it much thought, but then they stated we had to pack our things inside the suitcases.” Pauline and her husband smelled a con when they realized the luggage in issue were not even stocked at Harrods and politely declined the free trip.

Pauline continued, ‘I was asked to cease cleaning their home after that’

What a lucky choice that turned out to be!

Roger Clarke naturally attracted attention on the cruise he and Susan took with their pals.

Passengers were unable to ignore Roger’s habit of pulling out wads of cash from his wallet and Susan and Roger’s reluctance to appear for vacation photos. Roger Clarke went ashore in St. Lucia to acquire the bags that Paul and Pauline Craven would have purchased had they been on the trip.

The same suitcases in which officers of the Policia Judiciaria discovered the cocaine of the highest quality.

»74-year-old British cruise ship cocaine-smuggler moves from Portugal to UK to serve sentence«

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯