Peru drugs arrest: women 'not yet questioned'
Two young women, one Irish and the other British, have not been officially questioned for lack of a translator after being arrested last week at Lima's airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle 24lbs (11 kilos) of cocaine out of the country, Peruvian police have said.
The police officer in charge of the case said the women should be questioned in the next few days.
Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, and Melissa Reid, 19, were among 11 foreigners who were arrested on drugs-smuggling charges and being held at the counterdrug police lock-up in the capital Lima.
The police officer said the two women were calm "and being treated better than we are".
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to publicly discuss the case.
The women were arrested on August 6 as they were about to board a flight for Madrid.
In Peru, investigations take 15 days before a decision is made about whether to file charges.
If charged, Connolly and Reid would be transferred to the Santa Monica women's prison where foreigners are held.
Peru's penal authority said 1,648 foreigners are currently in its prison on drug-trafficking charges, 31 of them British citizens.
The police officer said so-called "drug mules" caught smuggling relatively small amounts of cocaine usually receive eight-year prison sentences but that six years is typical for those who plead guilty. With good behaviour, a convicted drug mule can be out of prison in two years.
Belfast Telegraph Digital