Drugs mule Michaella McCollum has admitted that she “took some drugs in Ibiza but I wasn’t a coke head”.
The 20-year-old Dungannon woman, who made the admission in a Sunday newspaper, said: “Everyone does it, I don’t think I knew anyone out there who didn’t”, referring to the lifestyle amongst workers in the Ibiza entertainment industry.
She added: “It was normal to go straight from work to a party with people you maybe didn’t even know because most of the people out there, like me, came over by themselves to work.
“Now I look back and think, ‘how stupid was I?’
“But even my family understood that’s the way it was over there. I’m only 20 – of course I am going to go to parties.”
In the interview with the Sunday Life, Michaella also gave her account of a meeting with drug barons at a house party that ultimately led to her incarceration in Virgen de Fatima Prison in Lima, Peru.
In the report she claimed it came about after she agreed to travel to Barcelona after meeting a woman who had bought “nice clothes and nice jewellery” in the city.
She claimed a man, known to her as a drug dealer, accompanied her back to her apartment to collect her things. Then, she claims, on their return to the house party, it had ended and her passport was taken off her.
The Co Tyrone nightclub dancer said after initially being forced to fly to Majorca where she met fellow drugs mule Melissa Reid, they were taken to a house where they met two Spanish men, a Colombian man and a woman.
“All of them kept saying to us that we had to go and do a job for them and there was no turning back now,” she claimed. Michaella also claimed that she was shown pictures of her brother and sister, images that were obtained from Facebook.
It is also alleged that one of the drugs gang threatened that if she was a “bad girl” her siblings would “get hurt and that we [Michaella and Melissa] would be punished too”.
But against all the odds, Michaella said she is hopeful that both she and Melissa will get early release.
“The best we could hope for is anything under eight years because then we could serve half of it at home,” she said.
“I would rather spend 90 years in a prison back home than spend another day here. At least you could have a TV and proper food.”
In the Peruvian jail the drugs mules are forced to buy their own tap water after falling ill with stomach bugs they blame on “brown tap water”.
“The food is awful. There’s rice and beans every day – and the rice sometimes has hair in it, human hair,” said Michaella.
She added that there is only one toilet for 100 women.
“There are 100 other women in our cell all sleeping on bunk beds.”