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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Drugs mule Michaella's mum: 'I never thought in a thousand years I would even know someone in a situation like this, never mind my own child'

Michaella McCollum’s devastated mother Norah and her sister Samantha fight back tears in an emotional first prison visit to her

Published 06/07/2014 | 11:46

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Norah McCollum
Norah and Samantha McCollum
Samantha McCollum

Michaella McCollum's devastated mother Norah and her sister Samantha make an emotional first prison visit to her in a new documentary.

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The family erupt into tears at the Virgen de Fatima jailhouse when they are reunited for the first time on an RTE documentary which is due to air tomorrow night.

In December the “The Peru two”, Michaella and Melissa Reid admitted to smuggling cocaine worth €1.9m and they were given six years and eight months in prison.

Police believe the two women were paid €5,000 each for smuggling the drugs.

Melissa and Michaella are currenlty both serving their sentences in Peru however their families are desperate to get them back home.

Norah said: “It was very emotional. We just hugged each other and cried.”

“I never thought in a thousand years I would even know someone in a situation like this, never mind my own child.”

“There was a lot of crying at the start, lots of hugging and crying,” the devastated mother said.

Norah and Samantha hadn’t seen Michaella since she left her Dungannon home eight months previously for a holiday in Ibiza.

Norah admitted that she had been worried about her daughter going to Ibiza in the first place.

“When young people go abroad you never know what will happen them, how they end up, what happens them or what company they keep.

“I was worried about her going to Ibiza but I never thought anything like this would happen.”

Norah still struggles to grasp how her daughter could have gotten involved in something such as drug trafficking and smuggling.

She added: “She knows we’re suffering even though she’s locked up in there. We’re all suffering. Her whole family is suffering.”

Struggling to fight back her tears, Michaella’s mother said her daughter had confided that she was initially depressed when she was first sent to prison.

“She said she was really depressed and sad and was crying every night... But she realised she wasn’t going to get through it doing that.”

“Now she just gets through every day doing what she has to do.”

Samantha also goes into details about her reunion with her sister behind bars.

“It was a hard conversation. I’m not going to dwell too much on seeing her here... It’s done, it’s past. Let’s move forward. Let’s get her home.

“It’s [about] making her as comfortable as possible, and to try and get this over as quickly as possible,” Samantha said.

Meanwhile, a Peruvian narcotics chief claims that Michaella was persuaded to go to Peru to traffic cocaine by her companion Melissa.

Colonel Tito Perez claims that a Colombian man recruited the two as mules, but Melissa was instrumental in persuading Michaella to do the job.

“It was Melissa who directed her to come to Peru but on the orders of the drug traffickers,” Colonel Tito Perez tells RTE in a documentary due to air tomorrow night.

“They were recruited by a Colombian citizen known as Enrique and it was this person who made contact here in Peru with the drug supplier.

"I believe he’s called Lucho. It’s the British woman who seems to have more contact with the organization. She was recruited first,” Mr Perez tells RTE.

“The smuggling organisation try to make it look like they are on holidays, but the real reason is something else. It’s the transportation of drugs.”

• Michaella, Peru & The Drugs Run is being broadcast on RTE One tomorrow at 9.35pm.

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