Father visits Peru drug woman Melissa Reid

  • Published
Media caption,

Video footage shows Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum questioned in Peru on suspicion of drug trafficking

The father of a Scottish woman held in Peru over suspected drug trafficking has visited her in police custody.

Melissa Reid, from Lenzie, Glasgow, was stopped with Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, trying to board a flight to Madrid 10 days ago.

William Reid flew to Lima to support his daughter, who turned 20 on Friday.

He visited her for 15 minutes on Wednesday night and during an emotional reunion told her to "be strong", according to the Daily Mail.

Police said they found more than 24lb (11kg) of cocaine, with a street value of £1.5m, in food packaging in Ms Reid and Ms McCollum's luggage.

The pair both deny the accusations, and say they are victims of a violent gang who coerced them into carrying the drugs.

Ms McCollum's solicitor Peter Madden was due to arrive in Peru on Friday.

Before he left, Mr Madden said he had spoken to Ms McCollum on the phone.

"She said she did nothing wrong and is innocent," he said.

The BBC's Will Grant said the woman were likely to appear in court at the beginning of next week when they would be formally charged.

During their meeting at Dirandro police station, which was witnessed by the Daily Mail, Ms Reid told her father: "They made me do it."

She told him that while she worked in Ibiza she was introduced to a British man who eventually forced her into meeting a gang of Colombian gangsters, who put a gun to her head.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Peruvian police said they found drugs in food packets in the women's luggage

She told her father how the gang forced her to fly to Peru, and added: "I wanted to tell the air hostesses or anyone in the airports, but the men said they would know if we had spoken to anyone, that they were watching all the time.

"It was a choice between doing what I was told and getting it over and done with and hopefully getting back to Spain or trying to escape and being killed."

When Ms Reid was told to return to her cell, her father told her: "We will do everything we can to get you out of here. We will work something out."

Police are waiting for a translator before officially questioning the two women, which is expected to happen in the next few days.

Investigating officer Colonel Tito Perez said: "We still don't have their official statements and I mustn't get ahead of the court case in terms of what will be said by one or the other.

"We haven't taken their statements because we are waiting for an official translator as we must give them the right to declare in their mother tongue."

The two women were stopped on 6 August as they tried to pass through the Air Europa counter at Jorge Chavez airport in Lima.

They face lengthy prison sentences if found guilty.