In the last couple of weeks we have reported on a Royal Caribbean drug ring smuggling large quantities of heroin and cocaine on the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship into Baltimore from the Caribbean islands. The cruise line's spin? Drug running is rare. Our take - its business as usual.
So here we go again.
The Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda reports that a Royal Caribbean waiter was found guilty yesterday of conspiring to import more than $424,000 worth of cocaine into Bermuda.
Jamaican crew member Ricardo Stewart (photo left and below) from Ocho Rios allegedly masterminded the drug operation, conspiring with fellow crew member Adrian Morris and others to import the cocaine to Bermuda on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas.
The newspaper reports that the plot fell apart after packages containing almost 4 kg of cocaine were found hidden under a chair in the cruise ship’s disco, of all places.
The drugs reportedly had an estimated street value in Bermuda of between $424,500 and $735,375, depending on how it was sold.
Kelnile Bushay, another Royal Caribbean crew member arrested during the investigation, stated that passengers would take the drugs on and off the cruise ship, "with crew members stashing the drugs around the ship while the vessel was traveling between destinations."
One of the problems we have discussed in prior blogs about Royal Caribbean crew members smuggling drugs is that some of the low paid cleaners are paid less than $600 a month (working over 360 hours a month) and are easily pusuaded into making some quick cash. In this case, Adrian Morris, a Jamaican father-of-two, was allegedly recruited by Stewart "told the jury he earned $565 per month for his legitimate work as a cleaner. However, Mr. Stewart offered him $1,500 to move a bag of drugs around the ship."
Is it any surprise that Royal Caribbean crew members making only $565 a month are enticed to supplement their income smuggling some smack and blow?
Photo credit: Royal Gazette