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VIDEO: Irish woman and pal held after cocaine found in food packets

THIS is the moment when alleged drug trafficker Michaella McCollum Connolly was arrested by police in Peru.

Michaella (20) and her travelling companion Melissa Reid (19) are videoed as they are detained in Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima last week.

Michaella – wearing a T-shirt which reads La Vie Est Belle (life is beautiful) – fidgets and smiles briefly as the questions are put to her.

In the extended video clip released by Peruvian police this morning, she identifies the flight path she took on her way to Peru.

Michaella is asked to confirm her name and when questioned on her nationality she replies: "Irish."

She is asked how she arrived in Lima and she says: "Madrid, Majorca, Peru."

In the footage Melissa says that she wasn't aware of the nature of the contents of her bag. "I was forced to take these bags in my luggage," she said.

When asked if she knew they contained drugs, the 19-year-old from East Dunbartonshire in Scotland, said: "I did not know that."

At one point Melissa puts both her hands to her forehead.

The National Police of Peru said they found more than 11kg of cocaine – thought to be worth around €1.7m – hidden in food packages in the luggage of the two women.

According to La Republica newspaper, the National Police of Peru said that "Michaella's nerves gave her away when she arrived to the desk" while El Ojo reported that police "observed both girls become nervous in the presence of airport sniffer dogs."

Both girls were holidaying in Ibiza before they were found in Peru.

The Connolly family had launched a social media campaign to track down Michaella after she failed to contact home for nine days.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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