Police in Belize Arrest Three NCL Crew Members for Smuggling Cocaine

Norwegian Escape7 News Belize reports that three NCL crew members were arrested in Belize for possession of two kilos of cocaine which was picked up in Roatan and taken on an unidentified NCL cruise ship to the private destination of Harvest Caye, apparently with the intention of being smuggled into the U.S.  The news stations says that:

The police have not released any official information, but 7News has learned that 3 employees of Norwegian Cruise Lines were charged with drug trafficking for allegedly being in possession of two kilos of cocaine on a cruise ship. Our information is that the 3 men are now arrested and charged, and they are at the Belize Central Prison.

Reports are that the men, 2 nationals of St. Lucia and 1 from St. Vincent, arrived on last Tuesday, on an NCL ship which made a port of call at the Harvest Caye Island getaway. The men worked on the Ship. Reports say that the two kilos may have been picked up in Roatan.

The men were arrested, and charged, and they were arraigned in Magistrate's Court. They are now at the Belize Central Prison.

Smuggling cocaine is big business on the high seas. Two years ago, five NCL crew members on the Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa when the cruise ship returned from Roatan where the crew members picked up the drugs. The Tampa Bay Times reported that they worked for NCL as utility workers in the Norwegian Sun's galley.

A few months later, a NCL crew member employed aboard the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship was arrested when he attempted to smuggle cocaine aboard the ship when it was docked in Roatan.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has busted a cocaine smuggling operation where NCL crew members smuggled cocaine from Honduras to New Orleans aboard NCL's Norwegian Dawn cruise ship.

The article did not identify the NCL cruise ship involved in this latest smuggling caper, although it is believed to be the Norwegian Escape.

Costa and Princess crew members were recently arrested in cocaine smuggling schemes using cruise ships.

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June 21, 2017 Update: The newspaper in Belize identified the NCL crew members: Derson Frank, from St. Vincent; Renaldo Roberts, also from St. Vincent; and Jamal Celise of St. Lucia.

Photo credit: Arno Redenius - CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Ray Kelly - June 20, 2017 7:01 PM

Great article. Max jail needed. Cruise lines need to check their employees and emphasize this will not be tolerated. They should offer rewards to employees that turn in smugglers. Crews need to be checked more and cruise lines need to be fined also when their employees are smuggling drugs or committing other crimes.

Andy Smithers - June 20, 2017 10:25 PM

Perhaps if Cruise lines paid their employees more than slave wages they would not have to look for ways to get ahead of the curve.

Sal - June 20, 2017 11:52 PM

My thoughts are this... those men are paid around $600 a month. Leaving them with the incentive to do illegal things to make ends meet. Pay your team more and these issues won't have to happen. Although lying them more means higher rates/less cruise guests. Also a war on drugs means black markets giving them the opportunity. Legalize it all and treat people who need help would save everyone.

Manuela Fonsecs - June 21, 2017 5:22 PM

I'm so sorry for all this problems.
All crew members know that they cannot
Smuggle drugs. All the time in NCL and PRINCESS ships to all crew members are told all the time to avoid drugs.
It's really very sad as they are very young and they think they can have a better life.

Robert - June 27, 2017 7:10 PM

I guess this explains why my wife was very nearly strip-searched in Cozumel. She uses a wheelchair and security performed a VERY thorough physical search on her. Maybe some people are using wheelchairs to get past security, which makes it harder on everyone else.

Blh - June 27, 2017 10:35 PM

NCL: No Coke Left behind.

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