An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced a British woman to three years in prison for smuggling a prescription painkiller into the country without a prescription, drugs her family said her husband needed for chronic back pain.
Egyptian officials arrested Laura Plummer, 33, in October when she arrived at Hurghada airport. She has been detained in Egypt since her arrest.
Police said they found 400 tablets of Tramadol, an opioid, in her possession, Egypt’s Ahram Online reported. Britain’s The Guardian reported she had 290 pills.
Egypt considers possession of the drug without a prescription to be a felony. Plummer said the drugs were for her Egyptian husband, Omar Caboo. Plummer’s family told The Guardian Caboo gave police medical documents proving his condition.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Plummer’s MP in Hull, Karl Turner, the British government would do what it could to assist the woman and her family.
Turner told The Guardian it was clear Plummer was not a drug trafficker.
“Now that the judicial process has completed, I have no doubt that Foreign Office ministers will be making representations to their Egyptian ministerial counterparts to see what can be done to bring this shocking saga to an end,” he said.
“Laura’s defense team are currently considering whether they should appeal and they have 60 days to lodge that appeal. I’m hoping good sense will finally prevail.”
Ahram Online reported the black market for Tramadol has grown in the country in recent years, and some people use it as a substitute for heroin.
By Danielle Haynes