Liverpool

Birkenhead mother Laura Makin jailed in Venezuela

A woman from Merseyside who was held in Venezuela on drugs charges has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Laura Makin, and her ex-husband Paul, were arrested in February 2009 when 53lb (24kg) of cocaine was found in their bags on Margarita Island.

Mr Makin admitted drug trafficking and was jailed for eight years in July 2009. Mrs Makin had always denied the charges and stood trial.

The pair, from Birkenhead, were travelling with four of their children.

The couple's two-year-old twin girls and Mrs Makin's children from her previous marriage, a boy of eight and girl of seven, were taken into care by Venezuelan authorities.

'Knew nothing'

They were then returned to relatives in the UK.

Mr Makin, who was also wanted in the UK accused of affray and possession of an offensive weapon, claimed he thought he was carrying diamonds when they were stopped at Porlamar Airport.

His ex-wife claimed she knew nothing about the drugs.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "A British National was sentenced on 28 April.

"We are continuing to provide consular assistance and liaise with relevant authorities."

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