One Of Peru Two Moving To UK Jail

Convicted drug smuggler Michaella McCollum is set to be transferred from Peru to a jail in Northern Ireland.

McCollum, from Dungannon, County Tyrone, and her accomplice Melissa Reid, from Glasgow, were jailed last year for six years and eight months.

They admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million from Peru to Spain.

McCollum's Belfast-based lawyer Kevin Winters has received confirmation from the Irish government's Department of Foreign Affairs that the prison transfer request has been accepted by the Peruvian authorities.

However, it could be months before the Co Tyrone woman returns home as the logistics of the transfer will be complicated.

Prisoners must be accompanied throughout their journey and airlines and airports must be advised, with security arrangements put in place at departure, transit and final stops.

The pair were caught with the haul at Lima airport on August 6 last year.

They were working on the Spanish party island of Ibiza last summer when they claimed they were forced by Colombian drug lords who kidnapped them at gunpoint to board a flight with 24lb of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

As McCollum is an Irish citizen, officials in Dublin have had a significant role in liaising with the Peruvian authorities following her detention. Reid has also bid for transfer to Scotland, but this is being dealt with by different lawyers.

McCollum, 21, and Reid faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure a shorter sentence.

They had previously been held at Lima's Virgen de Fatima prison but McCollum was moved to the notorious Ancon 2 prison where horrific conditions reportedly mean she is crammed into a cell with 30 other prisoners.

The situation at the mixed prison, which is two-and-a-half hours from Lima, has previously been criticised by McCollum's lawyer as "appalling''.

Kevin Winters said sanitation and toilet facilities are extremely poor and all females have to use a hole in the ground which has to be covered up because of the presence of vermin.

Recently Played Tracks

To listen live, choose your preferred location:

Go

On TV: Karaoke Christmas!

12pm - 1pm

Watch heart TV

  • John Lennon , Yoko Ono Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

    12:06

    iTunes

  • Lady Antebellum A Holly Jolly Christmas

    12:04

    iTunes

  • Mel And Kim Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

    12:02

    iTunes

  • Shakin' Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone

    11:59

    iTunes

Heart VIP

Local

Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Shopping Our Advertisers

Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart Scotland- East.

Follow Heart on Twitter