Belfast Telegraph

Michaella McCollum arrives home

The top ten news stories of 2016

By Sophie Inge

In August, convicted drug smuggler Michaella McCollum arrived back in Ireland after being released from prison in Peru.

The 23-year-old, from Dungannon, had spent less than three years behind bars with Scot Melissa Reid (22).

The pair, known as the Peru Two, were arrested in August 2013 at Lima airport after they were found with £1.5m worth of cocaine hidden in packets of food.

McCollum was ordered to spend the next six years of her sentence on parole in the city.

But after reports that she made a secret deal with Peruvian authorities, she was given permission to fly home.

The drugs mule apparently spent her first night at home partying and celebrating her release with family and friends.

But not everyone was so thrilled about her arrival here.

DUP MLA Lord Morrow said: "This is the return of a convicted criminal, yet a great deal of the publicity which appears to surround her currently resembles a minor celebrity.

"The harm caused by the drugs that she attempted to smuggle affects communities everywhere, and that should not be forgotten.

"A question which remains is whether her return will be followed by attempts to remain in the public eye, or even to profit from the notoriety she achieved with her crimes."

Belfast Telegraph


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