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British, Irish suspects await questioning in Peru

British, Irish drug suspects await translator for questioning in Peru

British, Irish suspects await questioning in Peru

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Two young women, one Irish and the other British, have not been officially questioned for lack of a translator after being arrested last week at Lima's airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle 24 pounds (11 kilos) of cocaine out of the country, Peruvian police said Wednesday.

The police officer in charge of the case told reporters that the women should be questioned in the next few days.

Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, and Melissa Reid, 19, were among 11 foreigners who were arrested on drugs-smuggling charges and being held at the counterdrug police lockup in Lima.

The police officer said the two women were calm "and being treated better than we are."

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

They women were arrested Aug. 6 as they were about to board a flight for Madrid.

In Peru, investigations take 15 days before a decision is made about whether to file charges.

If charged, Connolly and Reid would be transferred to the Santa Monica women's prison where foreigners are held.

Peru's penal authority says 1,648 foreigners are currently in its prison on drug-trafficking charges, 31 of them British citizens.

The police officer says so-called "drug mules" caught smuggling relatively small amounts of cocaine usually receive 8-year prison sentences but that six years is typical for those who plead guilty. With good behavior, a convicted drug mule can be out of prison in two years.

Updated : 2021-06-16 10:06 GMT+08:00