Updated 12:56 PM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

1 of 'Peru Two' Drug Smugglers Hospitalized Over 'Tropical Disease'

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A British woman of the Peru Two drug smugglers has acquired a tropical disease while detained in a Peruvian prison.

Convicted drug mules Michaella McCollum Connolly from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, along with Melissa Reid of East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, were jailed for six years and eight months in 2013 after they were caught with cocaine worth £1.5million hidden in their luggage at Lima Airport in August, Daily Mail wrote.

The two, who were attempting to smuggle the drugs from Peru to Spain, pleaded guilty to drug smuggling, the news outlet noted.

In June 2014, Peruvian authorities agreed to allow the 23-year-old women to serve the remaining years of their sentences in the United Kingdom, but the duo still remain imprisoned in Peru, Daily Mail added. They were previously held at Virgen de Fatima prison but were later transferred to the Ancon 2 prison, north of the capital Lima, where conditions are said to be confined, with poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

It was in the Ancon 2 prison where McCollum Connolly caught the disease, the news outlet further reported. She is currently undergoing treatment in the prison's hospital wing.

"Michaella has been brought to the hospital in the prison. She has a tropical illness but we don't know what it is," an inmate told the Irish Mirror. "We really hope she is ok. This [illness] is pretty regular in here, especially with the foreigners."

According to the inmate, McCollum Connolly is popular among the prisoners and has learned to speak Spanish, Daily Mail noted.

The Mirror reported that McCollum Connolly and Reid's transfer to a U.K. prison has been delayed due to a string of strikes and court backlog in Peru. With this, the pair could be freed from jail within months without having to be detained in a British prison. If the documents being held by Peruvian authorities would be successful, it would instantly liberate them from what's left of their six-year and seven-month sentence.

Legal sources in Lima have described the two women's chances of being freed as "extremely good," The Mirror added. Peru recently allowed overseas prisoners to apply for expulsion to help in alleviating chronic overcrowding. If expulsion is granted for McCollum Connolly and Reid, it would set them free immediately, deported back to the U.K., and banned from traveling to Peru again.

As quoted by Daily Mail, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said, "We continue to provide consular assistance. For reasons of consular confidentiality we cannot go into further details."

The Foreign Office said that over 700 British nationals were arrested for drug-related crimes from 2013 to 2014, the news outlet noted.

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