British children caught up in Venezuelan drugs case

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The Independent US

Legal efforts were getting under way last night to bring home four children from Venezuela after a British couple were arrested for drug smuggling.

The youngsters are the children of Laura Makin, from Wirral, Merseyside, who was arrested with her husband Paul on the island of Margarita as they tried to board a flight to London on Monday. The couple were detained for allegedly carrying 24kg of cocaine in suitcases.

Their two-year-old twins, Libby and Lucy, were taken into care along with Mrs Makin’s children from a previous relationship – Jack, eight, and Megan, seven. The father of Jack and Megan was expected to fly out to Venezuela and bring all four children home.

The Foreign Office confirmed that some family members have now arrived on the island and have seen the children. A spokeswoman said: “Family members are now in attendance and the consulate is liaising between the Venezuelan authorities and social services in the UK.”

A spokesman for Social Services in Wirral said: “We are working hard to ensure all necessary support is being provided to the family.”

The Makins’ solicitor, John Wheate, also said he was working to ensure the children’s repatriation.

Mr Makin, 31, a bus driver from Woodchurch, Birkenhead, and a former Cheshire Regiment soldier, was already wanted by UK police after failing to attend court. He was due to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court on 9 February charged with affray and possessing a machete, but did not show up.

It is understood the couple will appear in court in the next 30 days.