Peru Two drug mule reveals what led her to £1.5m smuggling plot

Michaella McCollum, left, and Melissa Reid, pictured in Peru in 2013 (AP foto/Martin Mejia)

A drug smuggler has admitted she thought Peru was in Spain in an explosive tell-all book.

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, from Scotland, were dubbed the 'Peru Two' after they were caught trying to smuggle 11kg of cocaine worth £1.5m out of the South American country's capital Lima in August 2013.

The pair were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison but were released in 2016.

Michaella said she had originally travelled to Ibiza to escape her hometown of Dungannon, in Northern Ireland, to get away from a "complicated relationship" with her absent father, to escape an abusive boyfriend and to get away from the "unrest and violence" in Northern Ireland.

Irish-born Michaella McCollum, handcuffed, arrives for a court hearing, in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

In an extract of her book "You'll Never See Daylight Again", published in the Mail on Sunday, Michaella says she had originally agreed to pick up a package of drugs in Barcelona for a drug dealer called Davey before the plan was later changed.

"On August 1, 2013, my fate was sealed," she said.

"That was the day I was introduced to an associate of Davey's called Mateo, a tall, skinny guy from Colombia. 'There's been a change of plan,' Mateo told me. 'You're not going to Barcelona any more. You're going to Peru.'

"People will have their own opinions of me for everything that's happened, and what I'm going to admit now is only going to give them more fuel. But the sorry truth is I had no idea where Peru was. No clue. I thought it was another Spanish town."

Michaella was then told, as it was her first time being a smuggler, she would be travelling with a second woman. This woman was Melissa Reid.

Mateo told her that she would be picking up the drugs in Lima after flying in from Majorca and that officials in Peru customs had been bribed and the drugs would not be discovered.

She was told she would be paid £5,000 for the trip.

Melissa flew out on Monday August 5 to Lima, with Michaella following the next day.

Michaella said: "I still didn't know where Peru was, but I guessed it was on the opposite side of Spain from Barcelona because of the time the flight was taking. Yes, astonishing as it sounds, I was that naive."

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Michaella admits that she did not realise she was flying to South America until after being on the plane for six hours.

After arriving in Lima, she met Melissa, who she describes as "annoying".

The pair visited tourist destinations for a couple of days as part of their cover. However, they then got a call and collected the drugs from contacts in Lima.

Michaella and Melissa then attempted to fly back to Spain the next day., with 11kg of cocaine in their luggage.

Michaella describes the heart stopping moment her case, packed full of cocaine, was going past a drugs sniffer dog and an armed man standing beside a baggage carousel in the airport.

She reveals that, heart racing, she made it past security guards only to turn round and see that Melissa was being led away.

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