FOUR passengers who tried to smuggled more than £1.7m worth of cocaine into Southampton on a cruise liner will face long prison sentences when they return to court next month.

The quartet pleaded guilty to bringing in the Class A drug which was discovered strapped to their bodies after Arcadia had docked in the city after a Caribbean cruise in October.

The three women and one man appeared at the city crown court yesterday and pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle in 12.75kg of the cocaine, which had 100 per cent purity.

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Camille Dupee, 19, and Briony Dyce, 25, both from Birmingham, Natalie Quinn, 26, from Rochdale, and Calvin Hylton, 41, from Manchester, were remanded in custody by Judge Derwin Hope.

They will be sentenced on January 16.

They were arrested after the 83,000 tonne Arcadia had returned to Southampton on October 19 from a 23-day cruise in the Caribbean, including stops at Antigua, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados.

The defendants were charged following an all-day operation in Southampton, which involved customs officers and UK Border Agency detention officers.

Three other people arrested during the operation and bailed pending further inquiries are due to report back to police next month.