Live updates

Women in Peru admitted £1.5m cocaine smuggling bid

At an earlier hearing, Melissa Reid, from Scotland, and Irish-born Michaella McCollum pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of Peru.

Today they were told by a Peruvian court they will both serve six years and eight months in jail.

Reid and McCollum were photographed by police with their luggage after their detention in Lima. Credit: REUTERS/Peruvian National Police/Handout
At the time of the women's arrest police released image of food packaging they said contained cocaine. Credit: REUTERS/Peruvian National Police/Handout

Peru drug pair each jailed for six years and eight months

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, who pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle cocaine out of Peru in September, have both been jailed for six years and eight months.

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid
Melissa Reid, cuffed, arrives at court at Sarita Colonia prison in Callao. Credit: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
Michaella McCollum Connolly, cuffed, arrives at court at Sarita Colonia prison in Callao. Credit: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Advertisement

Hunting dolphins for shark bait 'barbaric'

Alison Wood from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group has condemned the practice of using dolphin meat as shark bait as "wasteful and barbaric".

Whale and Dolphin Conservation said the practice was barbaric. Credit: Jim Wickens/Ecostorm/ITV News

In an interview with ITV News, she said it was completely unnecessary to butcher the animals in this cruel, inhumane way.

"You can use fish guts, and all sorts of things to bait your hook, you don't need to use a sentient, intelligent animal like a dolphin. It is an awful waste. We are talking about a highly intelligent, social, feeling animal, and to see them hunted like this, is barbaric.

Read: Dolphins butchered for shark bait in illegal hunt off the coast of Peru

Dolphin meat 'cheap alternative' to other shark bait

Slaughtering dolphins at sea is a cheaper alternative to other forms of bait for sharks, and the method of killing, harpooning, means that the dolphin can bleed for up to 15 minutes. The blood of the dolphin, then attracts sharks.

The blood from the harpooning of the dolphin attracts sharks. Credit: Jim Wickens/Ecostorm/ITV News

Watch: Illegal slaughter of dolphins for shark bait filmed

Advertisement

Dolphin hunting for shark bait 'an open secret' in Peru

The illegal slaughter of dolphins for use as bait to hunt sharks is "an open secret" within fishing communities across Peru, according to marine conservation group Mundo Azul.

Hundreds of small fishing boats use dolphins as shark bait. Credit: Jim Wickens/Ecostorm/ITV News

Working undercover with the group, British journalist Jim Wickens spent a week on board a shark fishing boat 100km off the coast of Peru, enduring rough seas and a near-death shipwreck incident in order to film the hunt.

Illegal slaughter of dolphins for shark bait filmed

For more than a decade scientists and environmentalists have been warning of a mass slaughter of dolphins around Peru.

Hundreds of fishing boats have been accused of killing the animals and using their fatty bodies as bait to catch sharks.

The killings, two or three per hunt, by hundreds of fishing boats around the country, add up each year to make it the biggest illegal slaughter of dolphins in the world, according to environmentalists.

ITV News has obtained footage that shows fishermen harpooning dolphins for bait. It's the first time this secret hunting has been filmed.

Science Editor Lawrence McGinty's report contains images you may find disturbing.

The footage, shot undercover by British journalist Jim Wickens, shows the hunting taking place, hundreds of miles off the coast of Peru.

Peru pair could face six-month probe if pleas rejected

Two British women who pleaded guilty to drug charges in Peru could face a six-month investigation if their pleas are not accepted, the Peruvian prosecutor in charge of their case said.

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid making their way to court. Credit: RTV

Juan Mendoza made the comments after Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, both 20, made a second appearance before a judge at Sarita Colonia del Callao jail, in Callao, near Lima.

He did not give details of the private hearing but suggested the women's confessions had not satisfied prosecutors.

Last week, McCollum and Reid pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and had hoped their admission would be enough to secure a shorter sentence.

But prosecutors have demanded more information before accepting their admissions of guilt which the women hope will bring their jail time down to six years and eight months.

British pair back in Peru court

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly are taken from prison in Peru.
Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly are taken from prison in Peru.

Two British women who pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking in Peru were taken to court for further proceedings in their case.

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly were arrested at Peru's airport in mid-August and pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking earlier last week

The pair arrive at court.
The pair arrive at court.

Read more: Peru drug pair 'in great form' inside better prison

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories