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'Peru 2' transferred to prison notorious for overcrowding

Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid have been transferred from a low security facility, and could now be sharing a cell with as many as 38 other inmates.

Reid, left, and McCollum Connolly, pictured during their most recent court appearance
Reid, left, and McCollum Connolly, pictured during their most recent court appearance
Image: Martin Mejia/AP/Press Association Images

MICHAELLA MCCOLLUM CONNOLLY and Melissa Reid – the young women from Ireland and Scotland who admitted trying to smuggle drugs out of Peru – have been transferred to a larger women’s prison from the minimum security facility where they were being held, according to Sky News.

They have been moved from the Virgin de Fatima prison to the much larger Santa Monica jail, which is notorious for overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. It’s reported they could be sharing a cell with as many as 38 other inmates.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday yesterday, Reid’s father said the development was “really worrying”. He told the paper “They probably had it good in the other cell, but now it’s totally different for them”.

The two women pleaded guilty last month to attempting to smuggle just over 11 kilograms of cocaine out of Peru. Initially, they had denied guilt, claiming they were been coerced into smuggling by a shady international cartel after being kidnapped.

But they later changed their story stating they “knew they were going to transport drugs, and that they regret having participated in such an act”.

They last appeared in court two weeks ago to make a fuller confession of their guilt, after a prosecutor refused to accept their earlier plea. The women are hoping to receive reduced prison sentences if their pleas are accepted.

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The pair were initially arrested on 6 August at the international airport in Lima, when 5.7 kilograms of cocaine were found in Connolly’s luggage and 5.8 kilograms in Reid’s. They were trying to board a plane for Spain, where they had been working on the island of Ibiza.

Read: Prosecutor rejects Peru 2 guilty plea >

Read: Court presses Peru two for details of gang members >

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Daragh Brophy

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