In Spain, police expressed skepticism over claims made by two women from Britain, arrested in Peru on cocaine smuggling, that they had been forced to carry the illegal drugs by members of an armed gang.
Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid said they had been forced by the gang members to travel from Ibiza, a Spanish island favored by vacationers – where they had worked at a bar – after they had befriended a man who they said was from London.
The pair said gang members shadowed them on their entire journey and warned if they did not pick the drugs up in Peru and return to Spain with them, the gang would kill their families.
However, the head of a police unit in Ibiza responsible for battling organized crime, said Saturday he did not believe the story of the two women.
He told a radio station from London that it is his opinion that the two girls were not forced to carry the drugs, particularly traveling to South America and several controls must be passed.
The first thing someone would do was to go to a passport control area and explain what was taking place and police would immediately react so he therefore does not agree with the two women.
Reid and McCollum Connolly were taken into custody last week when they attempted to leave a Lima airport to fly to Spain.
Police accused them of attempting to smuggle more than 11 kilos of cocaine that is worth over $2.6 million in their suitcases.
Peruvian law allows them to be held for up to 30 days prior to being charged and up to three years until tried. They face seven years in prison if convicted.
More details about the women’s time spent in Ibiza are starting to emerge. Apparently, they were handed to a drug gang in Ibiza and told to fly to Peru and visit places like tourists taking photos. However, others who knew them in Ibiza said they often partied late into the night and bragged about taking drugs.