UK women plead guilty over cocaine haul

Irishwoman Michaella McCollum (left) and Briton Melissa Reid (right) walk into a Peruvian court on September 24, 2013

Two British women have pleaded guilty of attempting to smuggle over 11 kilos of cocaine, estimated to be worth millions of dollars, out of the South American country of Peru, court officials said.

A court spokesman in the western Peruvian port city of Callao said Michaella McCollum, born in North Ireland, and Melissa Reid, from Scotland, have both œpleaded guilty to drugs trafficking” on Tuesday and automatically benefit from the reduced sentence of œsix years and eight months in prison”.

The two twenty-year-old women flew over to Peru from the Spanish island of Ibiza and spent six weeks in Peruvian holding cells as police caught them attempting a return to Spain with 11.5 kilograms of the class-A drug in their possession, on August 6.

Up until their confession, the pair protested their innocence and claimed a gang forced them to smuggle the drugs.

Police in Peru doubted the claims. Police chief Tito Perez, head of a unit that combats drugs and cartels said: “What the women said about being kidnapped by armed mafia and forced to come to Peru was illogical.”

McCollum and Reid are due in court in a week™s time to hear their sentencing, which if it were brought to trial, would have had a maximum of 15 years, but are now expected to receive a sixth of the eight-year sentence.

Peru is one of the world’s largest producers of cocaine and according to the country™s national prisons institute, 90-percent of foreigners jailed have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

GVN/MOL/HE

Copyright: Press TV