The Irish woman being detained on drug smuggling charges in Peru, could up to face eight years in prison if found guilty.

Police Colonel Tito Perez, in charge of drug trafficking investigations, told reporters in Lima the sentence may be reduced if the two young women co-operate with police, RTE reports.

"The women's movements are consistent with the methods used by the drugs gangs who use people as a means of transport for their merchandise," Perez said.

Michaella McCollum Connolly, 20, from Dungannon in Co Tyrone is being held along with Scottish woman Melissa Reid, 19, for attempting to smuggle 10.8kg of cocaine to Spain from Lima's international airport on August 6th.

Public prosecutors have announced they will formally charge the two women with drug trafficking on Monday or Tuesday next week. The two women are expected to spend several months in custody before they go before a judge for trial.

Both women deny the allegations and claim they were victims of a violent drug gang who forced them into carrying the drugs.

Reid’s father, William arrived in Lima on Thursday and vowed to bring his daughter home.

The Irish woman’s attorney, Peter Madden, has said she will deny any allegations if charged.

He said: "She is saying she has done nothing wrong, that she is innocent and that as far as any offences are concerned, if she is charged she will be denying it."

Michaella McCollum Connolly, on of the Peru Two, speaks about her drug use in Ibiza and how she was sest up by a gang.Facebook