Drugs Mule Melissa Reid To Leave Peru "Very Soon"

27 April 2016, 08:06

Drugs mule Melissa Reid is set to return to the UK "very soon'' after Peruvian authorities agreed to expel her from the country, according to the British embassy in Peru.

The 22-year-old, jailed for cocaine smuggling in 2013, has been seeking to serve the remainder of her six-year sentence closer to home in Scotland.

Reid, from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, and Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, were imprisoned in 2013 for six years and eight months after admitting trying to smuggle cocaine worth #1.5 million from Peru to Spain.

A spokeswoman for the British embassy in Lima said Reid had been "granted expulsion back to the UK'', and would be returning "very soon'', but refused to comment further.

McCollum, 23, was freed last month under new legislation on early prison release introduced in Peru last year, after serving two years and three months.

However, it is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.

The Scottish Prison Service said they had received no word of Reid's expulsion, adding they would only be notified if she was set to serve the remainder of her sentence in Scotland.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "We continue to provide consular assistance.''

McCollum and Reid were caught with the haul at Lima airport on August 6 2013 while attempting to fly to Spain.

They had claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

The pair were caught trying to board a flight with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

McCollum 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 were moved to the Ancon 2 prison, where McCollum was reportedly crammed into a cell with 30 other prisoners with poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

The SPS agreed in principle to a transfer in 2014 and Reid has been awaiting approval from the Peruvian authorities, who need to consent to her serving the remainder of her sentence under Scots law.

Reid's father Billy has previously said that the impact of his daughter's crime on his family had been "horrendous''.

He said: ''It's horrendous to see your daughter in handcuffs and the living conditions that she has to put up with. Melissa has spent her own 20th and 21st birthdays in prison in Peru.

''She missed the significant event of her only brother's wedding. Events such as Christmas are non-existent for us. There'll be no celebrations in our house, there'll be no Christmas tree until we get her back home.''

Mr Reid spoke out in a video warning of the consequences of drug offences abroad.

A spokesman for the FCO said that "no decision'' had been reached yet but they were expecting one this week.

He added: "We are still waiting to hear a decision from the judge.''