An Egyptian court sentenced a British woman to three years in prison on Tuesday for smuggling around 300 painkiller tablets into the country. Her defense team said they shall appeal to have the ruling turned or commuted.
The 33-year-old shop worker was detained at Hurghada International Airport on suspicion of trafficking drugs on October 9th, 2017. She was accused of drug trafficking after bringing in 290 tablets of the opioid painkiller Tramadol, allegedly for her partner’s back pain.
Laura Plummer was arrested on arrival from Britain in October, and her detention was extended twice prior to her court appearance. Tramadol is a legal prescription medicine in Britain, but it is banned in Egypt.
She claimed she was unaware the drugs were banned in Egypt, where junkies pay 8p a tablet — giving her 290 tablets a “street value” of just £23.
Plummer’s family said her partner, Omar Caboo, had previously presented medical records that they said proved he had long-term back problems requiring pain medication.The family also stated that Plummer had been forced to sign Arabic-language documents which she did not understand.
“She’s on the verge of a mental breakdown … It’s just horrendous,” her sister said.
Plummer reportedly had an Urfi marriage with her Egyptian lover Omar 18 months ago after meeting at the Red Sea holiday resort of Hurghada, where he was Entertainment Manager.
It emerged her Egyptian ‘husband’ has another wife and other girlfriends. But Plummer reportedly knew he already had a Muslim wife and three kids and has met them on her visits.
Plummer’s lawyer, Mohamed Osman, was dismissive of the idea that political intervention could aid Plummer’s case. “It is meaningless,” he said. “We have judicial independence.”
Osman added that consular officials or politicians were purely able to ensure British citizens received no ill-treatment and a fair trial. “I don’t feel that political intervention will have an effect,” he said. “The legal procedures are the same, as in any case with Egyptian defendants.”