Ibiza Brit ‘drug mules’ face jail time in Peru

Two young British women accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the holiday island of Ibiza have told Peruvian police they were kidnapped and forced into crime at gunpoint.

Ibiza Brit 'drug mules' face jail time in Peru
Ibiza police are not convinced by the 20-year-olds’ claims, judging that the girls have come to form part of the island’s expat drug trafficking scene Photo: AFP PHOTO / DIRANDRO / HO

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly were arrested at Lima airport in Peru as they went to board their flight back to Spain with 11kg of cocaine worth €1.6 million in their luggage.

The pair told Lima police they had been shadowed by gang members throughout the trip to coerce them into committing the crime.

But Ibiza police are not convinced by the 20-year-olds' claims, judging that the girls have come to form part of the island’s expat drug trafficking scene.

“In my experience I don’t think these two girls were forced to do this because, particularly when you go to South America, you need to pass several controls, First Sergeant Alberto Arian Barilla told British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

“The first thing you do is go to the passport control and say: 'Listen, this is what is happening to me.’ The policeman will react, so I don’t think they were forced.”

The pair could spend up to three years in prison before a trial, where they will face sentences of up to seven years if found guilty.

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Spanish police make ‘biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs’

Spanish police said Friday they had seized a record 827,000 ecstasy tablets as well as other narcotics in what they called "the biggest ever seizure of synthetic drugs" in Spain.

Spanish police make 'biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs'
Police claim the seizure is the biggest in Spanish history. Photo: Guardia Civil and the National Police
In a joint operation, the Guardia Civil and the National Police smashed “the main international criminal organisation behind the production and supply of most of the synthetic drugs in Spain”, they said in a joint statement.
Synthetic drugs are manufactured using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients.
Eleven people were arrested on charges of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation, including the organisation's Dutch boss.
As well as the ecstasy tabs, police also seized 76 kilos (167 pounds) of speed, 39.5 kilos of crystal meth and 217 litres of liquid amphetamine with which they could have produced 738.5 kilos of speed.
They also impounded almost 400 kilos of hashish and marijuana which they were to have exported to The Netherlands to pay for the purchase of the necessary substances to manufacture the drugs at two labs in Barcelona.
The organisation included traffickers from Spain, The Netherlands, Romania, Colombia and Italy and had bases in Barcelona, the southern city of Malaga and the island of Ibiza, all of which are known for having a vibrant nightlife and many dance clubs.
Although Spain is considered one of the main drug gateways to Europe, seizures of synthetic narcotics are uncommon as most traffickers usually deal in cannabis and cocaine.