Father vows to free 'drug smuggler' daughter Melissa Reid from confines of Peru jail

William Reid flew to Lima where he told his daughter to "be strong"

The father of one of two women held on suspicion of drug smuggling in Peru has vowed to bring his daughter home.

William Reid flew to the capital Lima to support Melissa, who turns 20 today, and told her during an emotional reunion to "be strong".

Ms Reid, from Scotland, and Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, are suspected by detectives of trying to leave the country with £1.5 million of cocaine in their luggage.

They were detained while trying to board a flight from the Peruvian capital to Spain last week.

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

Mr Reid was able to visit his daughter at the Dirandro police station in Lima for 15 minutes on Wednesday night, the Daily Mail said, and for longer last night.

During their meeting, Ms Reid told her father: "They made me do it." She told him that while she worked on the Mediterranean party island of 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.

She told her father of how the gang forced her to fly to Peru, saying: "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."

Ms Reid said that she fears evidence in Peru has been contaminated by police because they did not wear gloves as they handled the food bags in which the drugs are said to have been stored, the Mail said.

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."

Separately, a solicitor for Ms McCollum Connolly is due to arrive in Lima later today. 

Peter Madden has left Belfast and is due to arrive in Peru today

Before he left for the South American country, Mr Madden told reporters he had spoken to Ms McCollum Connolly on the phone.

He said: "She is saying she has done nothing wrong, that she is innocent and that as far as any offences are concerned, if she is charged she will be denying it."

He hopes to obtain a local legal team in Lima to represent the 20-year-old in court.

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

They may be held pre-charge for up to 30 days and could then spend up to three years in prison before a trial.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee