Peru Two

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Peru Two
Born Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid
Nationality British[1]
Known for drug smuggling
Criminal charge smuggling cocaine
Criminal penalty 6 years, 8 months
Criminal status Both discharged. McCollum and Reid returned home to the United Kingdom.
Motive Financial
Conviction(s) yes

The Peru Two were two British women (Michaella McCollum Connolly from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, and Melissa Reid from Glasgow, Scotland) who were both 20 when they were arrested on 6 August 2013 for drug smuggling at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru, after their luggage was found to contain 11 kg of cocaine.[2]

They initially claimed they had been forced to carry the drugs by an armed gang but subsequently pleaded guilty to drug smuggling. On 17 December 2013, the pair were sentenced to 6 years and eight months in prison.[3] They took up coveted positions training in beauty therapy in a bid to become hair stylists in the Ancón 2 prison.[4]

In early 2016, both women made attempts to return to the United Kingdom. McCollum applied to be freed on parole,[5] and was released on 31 March 2016, with the prospect of having to remain in Peru for up to six years.[6][7] In April, the Peruvian authorities agreed to expel Reid from the country:[8] she was released from prison on 21 June and immediately returned home to Britain, arriving at Glasgow airport the following day.[9] McCollum returned to the British Isles two months later, arriving at Dublin airport in the Republic of Ireland on 13 August 2016.

The women have received extensive press coverage in Peru, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and also around the world since their arrest. They were featured on the Channel 4 documentary Brits Behind Bars: Cocaine Smugglers, which aired on 10 October 2015. The show detailed how drug mules are trained.[10]