UK & World News
Peru Drug Pair Transferred To Notorious Prison
Two women who tried to smuggle cocaine out of Peru are being transferred to a prison that is notorious for overcrowding and disease, Sky News has learned.
Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, from Glasgow, will be moved to the Santa Monica women's prison in Chorrillos, Lima.
The pair, who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges last month, were sharing a room at the Virgen de Fatima prison, but could now be sharing a cell with up to 38 other inmates.
From there, they will later be transferred to the Ancon Dos prison.
Reid's father, William Reid, said he was concerned about her safety.
"They probably had it good in the other cell, but now it's totally different for them," he told the Mail On Sunday.
"It's really worrying. It all adds to the concern. I hope they're safe."
Anti-narcotics prosecutors rejected the pair's guilty pleas last month, saying the women had only admitted partial guilt for their actions.
Juan Rosas maintained that McCollum and Reid made up a story about being kidnapped and threatened into attempting to smuggle the drugs, worth £1.5m, out of Peru on August 6.
Under the terms of a plea deal, both women would face a maximum of six years and eight months in prison. But if the deal is rejected, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.
A total of 248 "drug mules" were arrested at Lima's Jorge Chavez international airport in 2012, with nearly 1,600kg of illegal drugs confiscated.
The UN says Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world's largest grower of coca, the raw material of cocaine.