20/08/13 10:45 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Two women from the UK have been held in Peru on suspicion of smuggling 11 kilograms of cocaine out of the country. Michaella McCollum from Belfast and Melissa Reid from near Glasgow are expected to be charged later.
The two women, both 20, were arrested at Lima airport two weeks ago as they tried to board a flight to Madrid.
Police say they found the drug hidden inside food packages in their luggage.
Peter Madden, lawyer for Michaella, said his client is innocent.
“Michaella McCollum did not owe any money to any drugs dealer. She was not involved in the drugs trade.”
Both women claim they were forced at gunpoint to carry the drugs by Colombian traffickers, who said they would harm their families if they refused.
Julio Vela, a customs officer at Lima airport, described the arrest:
“ They were nervous when they were approached, bewildered, they don’t speak Spanish so it was difficult for them to communicate.”
The British Embassy has been in contact with the Peruvian authorities and offered the young women consular assistance.
If convicted, they could receive lengthy prison sentences.
- 1Leaders ‘influenced Putin’ over Savchenko release, say Ukraine pilot’s lawyers
- 2Groundbreaking study sheds light on Neanderthal life
- 3Emergency response: inside Ecuador’s disaster zones
- 4The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 5Third night of riots rock Barcelona’s Gràcia district
- 1Groundbreaking study sheds light on Neanderthal life
- 2Germany: #Cutesolidarity response to Kinder chocolate controversy
- 3In the EU ‘one in three deaths of under-75s is avoidable,’ says Eurostat
- 4Germany’s carrot and stick approach to refugee integration
- 5Hero’s welcome for Ukraine pilot Nadiya Savchenko after Russia prisoner swap
Latest world news
New video footage: overcrowded migrant boat capsizing
Greek police clear Idomeni camp
Faster internet speeds for Europe from Microsoft and Facebook
Russia says Savchenko exchange deal was not linked to Minsk accords
Donald Trump wins enough delegates to clinch Republican nomination
Wires > News
- 06:16 CET Korean Air evacuates plane at Japan’s Haneda airport after engine…
- 05:43 CET “Barking mad” Trump looms over Australian election campaign
- 05:41 CET G7 vows growth, fudges FX, frets North Korea, Russia, China
- 04:44 CET Six Malaysians, eight Chinese arrested in A$200 million Australian…
- 04:37 CET Japan to cut emphasis on nuclear in next energy plan – sources
- 04:36 CET Thai queen undergoes medical tests, palace says in rare statement
- 04:12 CET After sea spat, China pledges deeper defence ties with Indonesia
- 04:08 CET El Salvador Congress approves $152 million bond issue to tackle…