Two British women who have been charged in Peru with drug trafficking could strike a plea deal with authorities and finish serving their sentences in the United Kingdom, Peruvian counter narcotics prosecutor Luis Mendoza said on Tuesday (September 17).
Michaella McCollum Connolly, of Dungannon in Northern Ireland, and Melissa Reid, from near Glasgow in Scotland, were arrested at Lima airport last month after 11 kg (24 lb) of cocaine worth 1.5 million pounds was found in their luggage, according to authorities.
With the pair reportedly facing a maximum penalty of 15-18 years imprisonment, Mendoza said the British citizens could get their sentences drastically cut if they plead guilty.
Mendoza said that if Reid and McCollum Connolly were to plead guilty, they could be back in the UK within six months to one year after sentencing.
Mendoza's comments came as Melissa Reid's father, Billy, told ITV's Daybreak programme on Tuesday that his daughter would get a shorter sentence if she pleaded guilty.
The women, both 20, had spent the summer working in bars on Ibiza. Proclaiming their innocence, they reportedly told authorities they had been forced to become drug mules by an armed gang and travelled to Peru under duress.
The women had been trying to board a flight to Madrid from Lima when they were detained.
Presented by Adam Justice