Dancer Michaella McCollum Connolly before her arrest

Dancer Michaella McCollum Connolly before her arrest

SELF-CONFESSED drug mule Michaella McCollum could soon be back in Northern Ireland from a jail in Peru.

The NI Prison Service has confirmed that all formalities are now complete in the case.

It is said it would co-operate in the proposed repatriation of a County Tyrone woman convicted of smuggling drugs in Peru.

If her transfer is formally rubber stamped in Peru, she will serve out her sentence among a bunch of sadistic female killers at the women’s unit in Hydebank Wood jail in south Belfast.

Dungannon dancer turned drug mule Michaella McCollum was jailed in Peru in 2013, along with Melissa Reid, from Lenzie in Scotland, for trying to smuggle £1.5m of cocaine.

They claimed they were forced to the suitcases laden with cocaine after being told by gangsters that their families would be harmed.

The pair told police that they had gone to Peru on holiday, even showing pictures of themselves sunning themselves.

But police said that during their period in Peru there was no baking sun, saying the weather had been overcast and rainy,

However, despite their pleas of innocence, McCollum and Reid later pleaded guilty

They were sentenced to almost seven years in jail but have requested transfers to prisons in the UK.

Any repatriation is dependent upon the approval of the Peruvian authorities.

McCollum’s solicitor, Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said he had received a letter from the NI Department of Justice on Christmas Eve, confirming that all paperwork and protocols that they are required to submit to Peruvian authorities as part of the repatriation request have now been completed.

Mr Winters said it marked the completion of another stage in the process but it would now be up to the Peruvian Ministry of Justice to approve and arrange the prison transfer.

The lawyer added that it was a complicated process that was likely to take “a number of months”.

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