‘Peru Two’ Prison Transfer May Prolong Return Home

The Lima chapter of Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid, the two British 20 year-old women caught smuggling drugs into Peru last August, is over for the moment.

The “Peru Two”, as the press dubbed them, have been moved from the Virgen de Fatima prison to the Ancon 2 penal facility, several hours out of the capital, according to reports yesterday in the UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

But the duo’s transfer to another prison could mean their repatriation requests to serve out their terms back home may take longer to process, the British tabloid reported.

“I got the feeling that the girls had integrated quite well at Virgen de Fatima but the situation they’re in now they’ll have to do it all again,” said Melissa Reid’s father, Billy, in an interview with the newspaper. “Until we hear from them it’s difficult now how they’re doing. I just hope they’re okay.”

They were sentenced to six years and eight months in jail on Dec. 17 last year after being found with 11 kilograms of cocaine worth £1.5 million ($2.5 million) in Lima’s Jorge Chavez airport on Aug. 6.

The Ancon prison complex houses almost 3,000 inmates, 325 of which are foreign, and 100 of them women, said the newspaper.

A total of 248 “drug mules” were arrested at Lima’s main airport in 2012, with nearly 1,600kg of illegal drugs confiscated, according to Sky News.

The United Nations says Peru is now the world’s largest producer of coca, the raw material of cocaine.

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