Drugs mule Melissa expected home soon

Melissa Reid
Melissa Reid

Drugs mule Melissa Reid may be back home with her family in Scotland “very soon”.

Authorities in Peru have agreed to expel her, the British embassy there has suggested.

The 22-year-old from Lenzie, jailed for cocaine smuggling in 2013, may be returned to the UK in a move which would not see her serving jail time here.

Reid, from Lenzie near Glasgow, and Michaella McCollum, from Co Tyrone, were jailed for more than six years.

The duo admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5m from Peru to Spain.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said it has had no contact from the Peruvian authorities about Reid.

But it is understood the SPS believes she may be expelled from Peru without having to serve the remainder of her sentence.

An SPS spokesman said it would only be notified if she was set to serve the remainder of her sentence in Scotland.

A spokeswoman for the British embassy in Lima said Reid had been “granted expulsion back to the UK”, and would be returning home, but refused to comment further.

However, a spokesman for the Foreign Office told the BBC no official decision had been made confirming her return.

He added: “We continue to provide consular assistance.”

McCollum, 23, was freed last month under new legislation on early prison release introduced in Peru last year, after serving two years and three months.

However, it is anticipated she will have to remain in Peru for a considerable period as part of her parole conditions.

McCollum and Reid were caught with the haul at Lima airport on 6 August 2013 while attempting to fly to Spain.

They had claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

The pair were caught trying to board a flight with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

McCollum and Reid faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure a shorter sentence of six years and eight months.

They had previously been held at Lima’s Virgen de Fatima prison but were moved to the Ancon 2 prison, where McCollum was reportedly crammed into a cell with 30 other prisoners with poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

The SPS agreed in principle to a transfer in 2014 and Reid has been awaiting approval from the Peruvian authorities, who need to consent to her serving the remainder of her sentence under Scots Law.

Reid’s father Billy has previously said that the impact of his daughter’s crime on his family had been “horrendous”.

He said: “Melissa has spent her own 20th and 21st birthdays in prison in Peru.

“She missed the significant event of her only brother’s wedding. Events such as Christmas are non-existent for us. There’ll be no celebrations in our house, there’ll be no Christmas tree until we get her back home.”

Mr Reid spoke out in a video warning of the consequences of drug offences abroad.