British ‘Drug Mules’ Face 25 Years in Peru Prison

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Read our latest story in Closer Magazine about a SellUsYourStory.com client who ended up in jail for carrying heroine in her mouth over a border into Jordan and knows exactly how Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, both 20, are feeling.  The pair were arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle 24lb of cocaine hidden inside food packages out of Peru last month.

alleged drug mules

alleged drug mules

The two women have now been formally charged, and are expected to be transferred to a prison from their holding cell while they await trial.

They could face 3 years in prison if refused bail while they await their hearing, and a maximum of 15 years in prison if they are found guilty.

Our client says ‘ I was jailed abroad for drug smuggling – Melissa and Michaella are right to be terrified.  I was so lucky to be freed, I just hope the Embassy can help Melissa and Michaella.’

Sadly she struggled with drug dependency after a number of traumatic life events. She moved to Dubai to escape her problems, but little did she know the problem was inside her. She found herself selling her body to rich Arab men to survive and eventually ended up in jail for carrying heroine in her mouth over a border into Jordan.

She then spent three months in a Jordanian prison living on liquidised chickpeas and one bottle of water a day.  Amazingly a hopeful letter reached her father who worked tirelessly with the British Embassy and managed to free her after three months in the prison.  You can read more about this story in this week’s Closer Magazine.  Thankfully she’s now one year clean and helps many women in a similar position.

As for Reid from Glasgow, and McCollum from Northern Ireland, they have been detained in custody for the past two weeks amid the drug trafficking allegations.

MacCollum’s lawyer has expressed his concern over their living conditions, explaining: ‘The conditions inside the holding cells are pretty grim. They are expected to lie almost on the floor. There is a sort of sponge bed which is not acceptable, it is not clean. They have not been offered any food. To me that is unacceptable.’

Both women deny the allegations, claiming they were forced to act as drugs mules by armed men. However their version of events has been questioned, after pictures emerged of the twosome enjoying cocktails on the beach prior to their arrest.

Addressing these revelations, Melissa’s father William Reid claims they were told to post pictures of themselves acting as normal holiday-makers. ‘I want to know who took that picture of them on their balcony. Was it taken by a third person or by a minder, and who was drinking the beer?’ he asked. ‘I believe the trip to the beach was part of a set-up that they asked them to smile to build up a portrayal of them as happy holidaymakers. ‘I can only go by what I have been firmly told by the girls. The two girls’ stories are very tight, very consistent, with a lot of detail and they seem to be telling the truth, as far as I can gauge’, he explained to a newspaper.

McCollum’s lawyer echoed Reid’s claims of innocence, adding:

‘Michaella McCollum did not owe any money to any drugs dealer, she was not and is not involved in the drugs trade, she has no criminal record, she has never been in trouble with the police in her life.’

But head of organised crime unit in Ibiza, Alberto Arian Barilla, disagrees, explaining:

‘In my experience, I don’t think these two girls were forced to do this because – particularly when you go to South America – you need to pass several controls.

‘The first thing you do is go to the passport control and say “listen, this is what is happening to me”. The policeman will react so I don’t think they were forced.’

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