Glasgow & West Scotland

Melissa Reid: Mother thought Peru drug arrest girl was in Ibiza

Melissa Reid Image copyright other
Image caption Melissa Reid is being held in Peru along with a woman from Belfast

The mother of a Scottish teenager being held by police in Peru on suspicion of drug trafficking said she thought her daughter was in Ibiza.

Melissa Reid's mother Debra said she had no idea her daughter had travelled to the South American country.

She said the Foreign Office had assured her Ms Reid was being well cared-for.

Ms Reid, 19, from Lenzie near Glasgow, was held with another young woman at Lima's airport after the discovery of cocaine said to be worth £1.5m.

She is being held along with Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, from Belfast.

Freelance journalist Dan Collyns, in Lima, told BBC Scotland he had seen a police video which showed the two young women looking "nervous and fatigued" being interviewed through a "rather ropey" translator, just moments after they had been arrested.

He said Ms Reid was asked if she knew what was being carried in the bags and she said she did not.

Mr Collyns also said Ms Reid claimed she was forced to carry the bag which police claimed contained the drugs inside food containers, without knowing what was inside.

Ms Reid is a former pupil of Lenzie Academy who had been living in Ibiza since June.

She had posted hundreds of photographs to her Facebook page over the summer, but it has not been updated since 21 July.

A statement published on the National Police of Peru's website on Wednesday said the two women were alleged to have been acting as "drug mules".

Sniffer dog

They were detained by drug enforcement officials at Jorge Chavez International Airport after being detected by a sniffer dog.

It was claimed they had just over 11.5kg of cocaine hidden in food products when they were arrested at the counter of Air Europa.

Officers said Ms Reid and Ms McCollum had been attempting to travel to Madrid, with a final destination of Palma in Majorca.

Ms Reid was alleged to have 18 packets containing a total of 5.78kg of cocaine and Ms McCollum 16 envelopes containing 5.81kg of the drug.

Debra Reid said she had not had a chance to speak to her daughter.

She said the family thought Melissa was in Ibiza having a good time with her friends and it came as a complete shock that she was in Peru.

The Foreign Office in London confirmed it was helping a British national.

It is understood Ms Connolly is an Irish passport holder.

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