Drug mule McCollum calls in cops over 'crime cartel' death threats

Michaella McCollum
Michaella McCollum

DRUG mule Michaella McCollum called in police after receiving death threats claiming to be from the crime cartel whose stash of cocaine she was caught with in Peru.

The Sunday World can reveal that the former model from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, alerted cops after the menacing messages were sent from an anonymous social media account to a friend earlier this year.

The twisted threats – which can be exclusively revealed by this newspaper – included demands for cash over the “11kg of pure” the former model was arrested with at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport in 2013.

Another read: “I’m gonna kill her...and that’s on my mother’s life, I am gonna slice her throat.

“I just want my Money... 11kg of pure we are talking about here.

“This aint no small change... she is trying to make a media career out of us. And I want it back now or she’s dead”.

The chilling messages were sent to the 24-year-old’s prison pal Kaouthar Essafi over Instagram, after the Irish cocaine trafficker was snapped on a Spanish beach earlier this year.

However, according to the stunning Dutch drug runner – who served time with the former model in Peru’s Ancon II prison and lived with her in Lima following her release – police could take no action.

“Michaella went to them and it was no help at all,” she told the Sunday World. “They said it’s nothing serious.”


The Instagram account, which has now been deactivated, included a picture of a British soldier and also followed McCollum – who is now trying to carve out a career as a reality TV star – on the picture sharing website. 

It is not clear whether the threats were genuine or a sick hoax. 

Police in Peru were never able to identify the members of the drugs cartel behind the huge stash seized from McCollum and fellow drug runner Melissa Reid at the airport.

The pair, who were both living and working in Ibiza before their arrest, originally claimed to have been kidnapped from the party isle and forced at gunpoint to carry the drugs.

However, according to Peruvian Drugs Unit chief Colonel Tito Perez, McCollum agreed to take part in the deal after being approached by a low-level drug dealer in a San Antonio bar.

It was this dealer, according to the police chief, who introduced the then 20-year-old to members of a South American gang who wanted two young women to smuggle a stash of cocaine.

“They were recruited by a Colombian citizen known as Enrique and it was this person who made contact here in Peru with the drug supplier,”Colonel Perez previously told RTE.

“I believe he’s called Lucho. It’s the British woman (Reid) who seems to have more contact with the organisation. She was the one recruited first.

“The smuggling organisation try to make it look like they are on holidays, but the real reason is something else. It’s the transportation of drugs.”

Pictures of the pair smiling were released by Peruvian authorities, who rubbished the young women’s initial story that they had been kidnapped and held by a gun-toting drugs cartel.

The pair, dubbed the Peru Two, eventually admitted to smuggling drugs and were each sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

Police believe they were going to be paid around €5,000 each for smuggling the drugs, worth £1.5million.

Juan Mendoza, Peruvian State Prosecutor, revealed Peruvian authorities were investigating members of the crime cartel since the pair’s admissions. However, to date no further arrests have ever been made.