International Crime

Egypt drugs case: Briton in court over banned pills

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A British woman detained in Egypt on drug smuggling charges is due to appear in court in the Hurghada beach resort.

Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested last month accused of entering the country with 300 Tramadol tablets, a painkiller legal in the UK but not in Egypt.

At the hearing – which is expected to be brief – the judge could extend her detention or free her on bail.

The shop assistant from Hull said she had “no idea” the painkillers she was carrying were banned in the country.

But local police said that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Back problems

Ms. Plummer’s family hope the judge at her custody hearing will believe she made an innocent mistake, since drug smuggling can be punishable by death in Egypt.

Tramadol is legal in the UK with a prescription but banned in Egypt, where many are addicted to the opiate.

In a phone call from her cell, Ms. Plummer told the BBC she was given the tablets by a colleague for her Egyptian partner, Omar Caboo, who has “back problems”.

She said the colleague put them in a chemist’s bag, which she put in her suitcase.

“I didn’t even look in bag,” she said. “I can’t tell you how stupid I feel.”

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