International Law

Ghana: British Girls, 16, Smuggled Drugs

Two 16-year-old girls in London told their parents they were taking a short trip across the English Channel to France in late June for a six-day school trip.

In fact, they went to Ghana, where they are now being held on charges of having attempted to smuggle $300,000 pounds worth of cocaine back into their home country, reports the London Times. Using free tickets provided by a man they met in London a month ago, the two reportedly were trying to return home on a British Airways flight last week, carrying two computer laptops they had been paid $3,000 pounds each to take with them, when they were stopped and searched. The laptop carrying bags allegedly contained 14 pounds of cocaine.

The two are now facing illegal drug export charges and, if convicted in Ghana as juveniles, could be sentenced to as much as 10 years in prison. They declined to talk to a reporter about their case, but an official with the Ghanaian Narcotics Control Board says they are sorry and were tearful when he spoke with them.

The 19-year-old sister of one suspect said she was amazed by the incident, which seemed totally uncharacteristic of her sibling, who was raised by strict parents, was headed to college and wanted to be a social worker. “She doesn’t smoke or drink or go out clubbing,” the 19-year-old told the newspaper. “She loves singing. She was stressing about her exams and thought she’d done badly, even though she’d been revising all the time.”

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