A British woman who attempted to enter Egypt while carrying a reasonable amount of painkillers in her suitcase has been arrested on drug trafficking charges, with some Egyptian lawyers warning her family that she could potentially face decades behind bars – or even a death sentence.
Laura Plummer, 33, was going to spend two weeks at a Red Sea beach resort with her Egyptian husband when she was stopped by authorities for carrying 29 strips of tramadol in her suitcase, each of which contains ten tablets, The Sun reported.
“She has no idea she was doing anything wrong,” her devastated mother, 63-year-old Roberta Sinclair, told the outlet. “The painkillers were placed at the top of her suitcase, she wasn’t hiding them.”
The pills have an estimated street value of about $30 in Britain and Plummer maintains that she was only bringing them along because her husband suffers from severe back pain. Still, the snafu could result in a shocking sentence.
“We’ve been told she’s facing either 25 years in prison or the death penalty,” Sinclair lamented. “We’re beside ourselves worrying that they’ll make an example of her.”
Airport security officials kept Plummer in custody at the airport for five hours before giving her a 38-page Arabic document to sign, which she did, thinking that she would be released. Instead, Plummer was transferred to a 225 square foot cell – in which 25 other women were already housed – for a month.
Plummer’s father has since spent upwards of $13,000 on legal fees trying to get his daughter out of jail, but Egyptian officials have submitted her to multiple lengthy court proceedings.
“She is still wearing the same clothes she flew out in,” Roberta Sinclair’s daughter, Jayne Sinclair, said. “When she came into court that first time she looked dead behind the eyes and was handcuffed to a 6ft 4in policeman holding a machine gun.”
“She kept saying, ‘Please help me, please help me.’ She looked a little child again,” Sinclair recalled.