Lenzie Teen Still In Custody In Peru

Two young women being held on suspicion of trying to smuggle £1.5 million of cocaine out of Peru told of how they were forced to take the drugs during a secret meeting.

Melissa Reid, 19, from Lenzie, and Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, from Northern Ireland, were arrested while trying to board a flight from the Peruvian capital to Spain last week. 

The women claim they are victims of a violent drugs gang who coerced them into carrying the drugs, and say they have resigned themselves to the likelihood that they face a lengthy prison term. 

Police are waiting for a translator before officially questioning them, which is expected to happen in the next few days, the Associated Press said. 

Ms Reid and Ms McCollum Connolly said they were given the 24lb (11kg) of cocaine outside their hotel, the Hotel Colonial San Agustin in the capital Lima, the day before were due to fly back to Spain, the Daily Mail said. 

Speaking from inside police headquarters in Lima, Ms Reid told the newspaper: ``I was the one who went to pick up the drugs outside our hotel. ``At that point I didn't know what was in the suitcase, drugs, guns or money, and we were like, 'we're not going to do it'. But they said, 'We've been watching you and you've got to do it'.'' 

The pair, who deny drug trafficking allegations, claim they were ordered at gunpoint by Colombian gangsters to smuggle the drugs out of Lima. 

Ms Reid and Ms McCollum Connolly hope to be reunited with their families soon. 

Ms Reid's father William, 53, is expected to visit his daughter at the police station after flying from Glasgow, while Ms McCollum Connolly is also expecting relatives to arrive soon, the Daily Telegraph said. 

Colonel Tito Perez Arrascue, of the National Police of Peru, told the newspaper the women were not expected to be formally charged until Monday or Tuesday.