Saturday 3 December 2016

Jailed drug mule Michaela McCollum Connolly struck by tropical illness in Peruvian jail

Published 05/01/2016 | 09:59

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid
Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid

Jailed drug smuggler Michaela McCollum Connolly spent Christmas in a prison hospital according to reports.

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McCollum Connolly should have spent Christmas back in Northern Ireland after being cleared to leave prison in November – red tape has delayed her release.

Under Peruvian law, McCollum Connolly and Reid are free to walk free from prison having served a third of their sentence.

She is said to have been struck by a tropical sickness whilst serving time in a Peruvian prison.

One inmate said “Michaela has been brought to hospital in the prison. She has a tropical illness but we don’t know what it is.

“We really hope she is OK. This [illness] is pretty regular in here, especially with the foreigners.”

The woman, originally from Dungannon, was arrested in September 2013 with Melissa Reid, from Scotland, when the pair were caught trying to board a flight to Madrid with 11kg of cocaine in their bags.

She is currently in prison in Ancon 2 – about an hour north of capital Lima.

There are around 1,500 other inmates currently serving time in the prison and Michaela is said to be quite popular in Ancon 2.

Irish-American Bishop Sean Walsh who has visited both McCollum Connolly and Reid said the two “as well as can be expected”.

The Bishop said the pair “want to get home, finish their sentence, get out and fade out from the public attention”.

McCollum Connolly is said to be able to speak Spanish now as well as being an avid fan of local cuisine like cuy - a dish that contains guinea pig.

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