British woman sentenced in Egypt to three years in jail for smuggling painkillers

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 26, 2017 7:08 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced a British woman to three years in prison on Tuesday for smuggling painkillers into the country, a Reuters witness said.

Laura Plummer, a 33-year-old shop worker from Hull, was arrested in October after more than 300 Tramadol tablets were found in her suitcase. Her family told British newspapers she bought the tablets for her Egyptian partner living in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Plummer attended a hearing in her case on Monday, before Tuesday's sentencing. The court also ruled that she must pay a fine of 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,600).

Tramadol is a legal, prescription medicine in Britain, but it is banned in Egypt.

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

Her lawyer said Plummer would appeal, seeking to reverse the verdict or get a commuted sentence, which is possible in the two months after being sentenced. He added that she did not know Tramadol was banned in Egypt.

Speaking to the court on behalf of Plummer, the lawyer, said she had no criminal intent in bringing in the painkillers.

On Monday the lawyer, Mohamed Othman, told Reuters: "It is illogical that she was dealing in Tramadol. She had only 320 pills. Even the plane ticket is almost double the price of those pills."

The family could not immediately be reached for comment.

A spokesman from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We will continue to provide assistance to Laura and her family following the court ruling in Egypt, and our embassy is in regular contact with the Egyptian authorities."

(Additional reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Writing by John Davison; Editing by John Stonestreet and Hugh Lawson)