A former boyfriend of one of two British women facing drug trafficking charges in Peru has claimed that both women knew they were being used as drug mules and were warned not to do it.
Michaella McCollum, of Dungannon in Northern Ireland, and Melissa Reid, from near Glasgow in Scotland, were arrested at Lima airport two weeks ago after 11kg of cocaine worth 1.5 million pounds was found in their luggage, according to authorities.
The women, both 20, had spent the summer working in bars on Ibiza, a Mediterranean island drawing 700,000 British holidaymakers each year.
Peruvian prosecutors said the crime carried a maximum penalty of 15-18 years imprisonment.
Miss McCollum's lawyer Peter Madden told British media that both women would plead not guilty.
The pair say they were kidnapped and forced to carry the drugs by a gang of armed Colombian drug dealers.
Shane Knowles, a heavily tattooed convicted fraudster, told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that the women were "money hungry" and claimed it was their "own choice" to carry the cocaine.
Mr Knowles, 37, dated Miss Reid in Ibiza.
"I told them not to get involved," Mr Knowles said. "And then somebody made them a good offer and they went and did it."
Mr Madden has said the women were not offered money at any stage.
The chief prosecutor said that among the evidence against the pair was a recording of a phone call in which they are told what to do to smuggle the drugs.
The pair said they did not report the threats they claim were made by the drug cartel because they were scared.
Miss Reid' father, William Reid, 53, said the girls should plead guilty.
"They should plead guilty. God forbid, if it goes to trial, you have the prospect of receiving that 15-year sentence.""It’s indefensible to say that they didn’t have drugs or know they had drugs. They did carry the drugs."
"They were found to have drugs on them. They collected packages which transpired to be drugs. They are going to be guilty of that."