TWO GIRLS CAUGHT ATTEMPTING TO SMUGGLE COCAINE FROM PERU TO SPAIN ARRESTED – Michaella McCollum Connolly from Belfast and Melissa Reid from Briton have been arrested by Peruvian authorities after customs officials at the airport discovered 25lbs of cocaine, with a street value of approximately £1.5 million, hidden in their suitcases.
The two girls were due to fly from Peru back to Spain where both worked as bar hostesses in the holiday destination of San Antonio; a popular tourist spot for young British and European clubbers.
Left: Michaella McCollum Connolly | Right: Melissa Reid
Soon after their arrest the parents of Michaella were shocked to discover their daughter was in Peru and not in Spain working as they were lead to believe. Both girls, if found guilty of drugs smuggling, could face up to 25 years in a Peruvian prison.
The parents are now coming to terms with her predicament and are examining their options of how they can help their daughter.
It has long been known that certain drug sellers have targeted young people and enticed them into becoming drug mules for financial gain. This problem is not unique to Spain or any other country.
The girls are young and you might say impressionable, Melissa is just 19 whilst her counterpart, Michaella is only 20 years of age. However should their young age be taken into account?
At their ages and both being University students we have to assume they know the difference between right and wrong. They are also both old enough to read newspapers and internet blogs and therefore are no doubt aware the damage drugs do to society.
I feel for the parents as from the articles circulating in the press it is obvious they had no idea what their daughter was up to; she is of course of a legal age to please herself.
There may be mitigating circumstances to their dilemma; in that they were not aware they were being used to smuggle drugs; the Peruvian authorities have not as yet established all the facts or at least not released further information on the case.
However, if these two girls entered into a financial agreement to smuggle drugs from Peru to Spain then there can be no sympathy provided and that any sentence they are given by a Peruvian Court will be more than justified.
We often here about the horrors of foreign jails; simply look at the recent case of 56 year old British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford who was caught smuggling a similar quantity of cocaine in to Indonesia – Sandiford is currently on death row for her crime.
The truth is that many foreign jails are horrific, even inhumane but these people would never be subjected to such horrors if they hadn’t engaged in an activity for financial gain.
The news on this particular case is centering on the two young girls and yet nobody appears willing to stand up and ask about their victims. Illegal narcotics are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent addicts who are hooked on what is peddled; many of these being children.
The smuggling or selling of narcotics is quite frankly a vile and immoral trade and if these two girls are found guilty of smuggling then 25 years in a Peruvian jail will certainly ensure that there are two more drug smugglers off the streets and unable to add to the rising death toll of drug addiction.
Do you think penalties for drugs smugglers should be harsher? Please leave your comments below.