Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Michaella McCollum cell mate's transfer is approved

By Lucy Christie

Published 30/06/2015

Michaella McCollum
Michaella McCollum

Drugs mule Michaella McCollum will be saying adiós to her Scottish cell mate after the Peruvian authorities approved a prison transfer for Melissa Reid.

Reid could be back in the UK within weeks after the international transfer was given the green light - although McCollum's was recently reported to have been mired in bureaucracy.

Both woman were jailed for cocaine smuggling in 2013, and have been seeking to serve the remainder of their six-year sentences at home in the UK.

Reid (21), from Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, and McCollum (23), from Dungannon in Co Tyrone, were caught with £1.5 million worth of drugs at Lima Airport.

It is understood a judge has approved Reid's prison transfer request and officers from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) are ready to travel to Lima to collect her.

An SPS spokeswoman said: "We have not yet received any formal notification. When the application has been approved, the necessary measures will be put in place for the transfer."

Reid and McCollum were working in Ibiza when they claim they were forced to board a flight with 24lb of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

They were caught on August 6, 2013 and later pleaded guilty to drug smuggling, each receiving a jail term of six years and eight months.

The SPS gave their agreement in principle to a transfer last year 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.

The repatriation of McCollum to Northern Ireland was approved by Stormont's Justice Minister in January this year. But her return was delayed after Peruvian officials failed to rubber-stamp the documents necessary.

Conditions in Ancon 2 jail, are said to be cramped, with poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph