United Kingdom woman jailed for 3 years in Egypt for carrying painkillers

Casey Dawson
December 27, 2017

Laura Plummer's family maintain the shop worker was carrying the 320 tramadol tablets into the country for her boyfriend who has back pain. The painkiller is a Class C prescription drug in the United Kingdom but is banned in Egypt.

Plummer's family said she did not realize Tramadol was illegal in Egypt when she made a decision to bring the pills to help with her husband's chronic back pain, which she obtained from a friend, the BBC reports.

The black market for Tramadol has grown in Egypt over the past decade, with many using the drug recreationally as a heroin substitute.

Her sister said that Plummer's mother, who travelled to Egypt for the hearings, was "devastated".

According to a Facebook group set up by her family, she appeared in court in Egypt on St Stephen's Day and was jailed for three years.

Her family said she was "sleep deprived", "visibly nervous" and "upset" to the extent that the presiding official had to call a halt to proceedings. "I'm even more anxious now she's in actual prison with real criminals". "She doesnt deserve that", Rachel said.

Plummer was arrested on arrival from Britain in October, and her detention was extended twice prior to her court appearance.

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The ordeal has been a hammer blow to the family, who claim Miss Plummer had no idea what she doing was illegal and was just "daft".

"For someone to be found guilty of drug smuggling they have to be aware that they are possessing narcotics".

On Monday, the lawyer, Mohamed Othman, told Reuters: "It is illogical that she was dealing in Tramadol. Even the plane ticket is nearly double the price of those pills". "Laura did not know that what she was carrying was a narcotic", he said, reports The Sun.

It is not clear when an appeal against her sentence might be heard.

Since October, her family says she has been held in a communal cell with no beds and up to 25 other women.

Her family told British newspapers she bought the tablets for her Egyptian partner living in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

"This is a damning indictment actually of the Egyptian authorities in the sense that good sense and fairness certainly hasn't prevailed in this case".

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