Drug Busts On Cruises

Two women, 24-year-old Alloah Releford and 27-year-old Latoya Powell, recently were given a six year sentence in a Bermuda jail. They were found guilty of trying to smuggle drugs into Bermuda aboard the CarnivalFantasy cruise ship in October of 2011. The two attempted to bring back a hefty amount, 2.7 kg of cannabis resin worth a little over $400,000.

Bermuda is already known for strict sentences in cases involving any type of drug issues. The sentence in this case is consistent with this policy.

drug bust.jpgIn yet another case of attempted drug smuggling on a cruise ship, it was reported that 5.8 kilograms of cocaine was found in a cabin of a New Zealand couple aboard the P &O cruise ship Aurora. On January 25, the ship arrived at the Port of San Francisco from the Caribbean when the cocaine was found by US custom officials. As a result, Tony Wilkinson, 42, and Kirstie Harris, 25, were arrested. In addition, an Australian was also found with 7.9 kilograms of cocaine. Both cases were related. All of them were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

In addition, a British cruise ship passenger was arrested on Friday in Sydney for smuggling 30 kilograms of cocaine into Australia. He was also aboard the cruise ship Aurora. A drug detection dog caught this 59 year old man who is facing life in jail and a fine of up to $825,000.

Drugs on cruise ships don’t appear to be that uncommon. In January of 2011 a major drug bust occurred when over $100,000 worth of cocaine and heroin was found aboard a Royal Caribbean ship. This was a part of an employee smuggling ring.

My colleague, James Walker, author of Cruise Law News, recently wrote about drugs on cruise ships, commenting how drug smuggling is in fact becoming a more prevalent issue on cruise ships.

We now see these mega cruise ships, small cities, need regulation. They need their own police department and emergency fire rescue service. Sexual assaults and disappearances have been reported at a much greater frequency than previously known. There are safety issues that must be addressed, and maritime laws must be changed to hold cruise ships companies more accountable to passengers and crewmembers that are harmed at sea.

Our personal injury and wrongful death firm continues to be safety advocates to both passengers and crewmembers harmed at sea.

Picture Credit: Live5news.com