Glasgow & West Scotland

Father of Peru drug case woman Melissa Reid calls for Spanish probe

Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid in court in Callao on 21 August 2013
Image caption Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid face a maximum of 15 years in jail if convicted of drug smuggling

The father of one of two women from the UK held in Peru on drug smuggling charges has called on British and Spanish police to investigate the case.

Melissa Reid, of Lenzie, near Glasgow, and Michaella McCollum, of Dungannon in Northern Ireland, were caught with £1.5m of cocaine at Lima Airport.

Both claim they were forced into carrying the drugs.

Ms Reid's father, William, wants police to investigate how the women originally left Ibiza where they had been staying.

The women, both aged 20, have reportedly told the Peruvian authorities they were working in Ibiza and did not meet before they were both kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to travel to Majorca.

'More clarification'

They have claimed they were then sent to Peru and forced to carry the drugs in their luggage.

Both were found to be carrying 24lb (11kg) of cocaine hidden in food packets as they tried to board a flight from Lima Airport to Spain last month.

Image caption William Reid wants both women to plead guilty

Mr Reid told ITV's Daybreak programme: "The Peru element of the story I can follow and understand.

"It's the Ibiza end that I would like more clarification on.

"I'm still not entirely sure how she left Ibiza to go to wherever it was - Madrid or Majorca and then on - so I would like more help from the Spanish authorities and, in fact, the British police."

Both women are being held in a classification unit at Virgen de Fatima jail in Lima, which houses some of the country's most dangerous criminals.

Mr Reid, who visited his daughter last week, said both women were "calm" and doing "as well as can be expected in their current predicament".

He added: "The current prison conditions are OK and not as bad as we were led to believe prior to going over to Peru, so that was a worthwhile visit for that reason alone, to get some comfort that they have a bed and some space.

"They're not eight to a cell et cetera or sleeping in corridors [which] we were told was possible.

"But if they're moved to another prison that could change."

Proving innocence

Both women face a maximum term of 15 years if convicted of drug smuggling.

Mr Reid reiterated his belief that they should plead guilty so the case is dealt with sooner.

"That is based on having been over in Peru and understanding more about their legal system," he said.

"They appear to operate on the basis that you're guilty unless you can prove your innocence."

He added: "Pleading guilty means that your case at least would come to court and you'd be given a sentence potentially within six months.

"If you continue down the not guilty route it can take two years to three years before your case even comes to court."

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