A British man accused of trying to smuggle 52 pounds of cocaine home from a Venezuelan island vacation says he thought he was carrying diamonds not drugs.

In an interview with the Times of London at the San Antonio military jail on the Caribbean island of Margarita, Paul Makin also insisted that his ex-wife, Laura Makin, had known nothing about the attempted smuggling.

“Laura’s innocent, she shouldn’t be here,” said Makin. “I’m pleading guilty and I will take it if I have to, but it’s more dangerous for her. She should be back with the kids.”

Makin and his ex-wife, both 31, were interviewed while huddled on a bench in the dusty prison yard, casting nervous glances at gang members casually swinging shotguns as they lean against the breeze block walls.

The pair have been at the penitentiary since Thursday following their arrest last Monday for allegedly trying to smuggle 52 pounds of cocaine in false-bottomed suitcases on to a flight to Gatwick.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.