A top drugs cop in Peru has claimed Scottish mule Melissa Reid lured Irish girl Michaella McCollum into the failed cocaine run that has landed her in a hell-hole prison.
Peruvian Drugs Unit chief Colonel Tito Perez has told a new Irish TV documentary that he believes Reid coerced the young Ulster woman to join her on the drug run to Lima.
The pair are now serving six year sentences for the attempt to smuggle over $2 million worth of cocaine from Peru to Spain.
Colonel Perez has told Irish state broadcaster RTE that Tyrone born McCollum was persuaded to travel to Peru to traffic cocaine by Reid.
He believes Scottish girl Reid was first recruited by a South American drugs cartel in Ibiza in 2013.
She then persuaded McCollum to go on a cocaine run to Lima last August.
Colonel Perez said: “I think it was Melissa who directed her to come to Peru but on the orders of the drug traffickers.
“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 organisation. She was recruited first.
“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.”
The new documentary says the two girls arrived in Peru on different flights according to a report in the Irish Mirror.
Peruvian authorities say photos of the pair sunbathing after their arrival rubbish their claims they had been kidnapped and held by a gun-toting drugs cartel.
Peruvian authorities believe the pair would have received as much as $10,000 each - if the cocaine had been delivered to Spain.
Peruvian State Prosecutor Juan Mendoza revealed: “In this case they have been very intelligent and have given information to the Peruvian authorities.
“We are now investigating the members of this organisation.”
The RTE documentary also features the emotional first prison visit to Michaella by her devastated mother Norah and sister Samantha.
After a tearful reunion in the Virgen de Fatima jailhouse, mum Norah said:
“It was very emotional. We just hugged each other and cried.
“There was a lot of crying at the start, lots of hugging and crying. 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.”
After seeing her daughter for the first time in eight months, Norah added: “I never thought in a thousand years I would even know someone in a situation like this, never mind my own child.
“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.”