British 'cocaine mule' caught in Peru with £4.5million worth of drug

A British man accused of attempting to smuggle £4.5million worth of cocaine out of Peru is refusing to speak to lawyers for fear of revenge from drug cartels, according to reports.

Sean Woods, 24, from Liverpool, was arrested after police caught him pulling a suitcase carrying 70lb of cocaine through a Lima shopping centre.

He has been charged with Aggravated Drug Smuggling and is facing 15-25 years if he's convicted, but according to The Daily Mirror, he is refusing to speak to lawyers.

The paper reported how Woods has so far refused to co-operate with the investigation because he is afraid of being targeted by drug cartels who run the South American drug trade.

The Liverpudlian was caught with 31 brick-type packages containing cocaine. Credit: Public Ministry - Fiscal District of Callao

According to sources he had been in Peru for over two months at the time of his arrest and has told police he is a computer technician facing serious financial issues.

He had been spotted carrying a large blue Samsonite suitcase through a part of Lima not frequented by tourists and when asked what was inside, he claimed not to know.

He told police: “I don’t know what’s in it. He said to meet here at 1 o clock, I don’t know phones. I just wait here.”

Police forced open the locked suitcase, revealing 30 white packages, which they tested for cocaine.

A spokesman for Peru's Ministerio Público said: "Caught red-handed, an English citizen was arrested carrying around 32 kilos of brick-type cocaine hydrochloride, which he intended to take out of the country.

"He was carrying 31 brick-type packages containing cocaine hydrochloride which were hidden inside a blue trip suitcase.

"Each package had the inscription "R" which would correspond to the criminal organisation."

Since his arrest he has appeared in a Lima court for a preliminary hearing but could remain in custody for up to seven months before his case reaches trial.

His arrest is reminiscent of the 2013 case of Brits Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid who were also caught with a huge cocaine haul in the South American country.

Michaella McCollum (left) and Melissa Reid in court in 2013. Credit: AP

The pair were caught at Lima's international airport, trying to smuggle 11kg (24lbs) of cocaine worth £1.5million out of Peru.

They were jailed for six years and eight months but released in 2016 after striking a deal with Peruvian authorities.