Aug. 21 - Two British women detained in Peru on accusations of drug smuggling are formally charged in the case. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Two British women held in Peru on accusations of drug smuggling have been taken to the public prosecutor's office to face possible charges. Twenty-year-old Michaella McCollum Connolly and 19-year-old Melissa Reid were taken to the public prosecutor's office earlier on Tuesday, amid a crush of media, to face charges in the case. The two women were detained in Lima last week, accused of trying to smuggle millions of dollars worth of cocaine to Europe. The two women have protested their innocence, saying they were forced to carry items in their luggage at gunpoint. The two women have not yet been charged in the case. Peruvian officials say the two women were en route to Madrid and Majorca on Tuesday when airport officials discovered almost 12 kilos, or 26 pounds, of cocaine hidden inside food packages in their luggage. The cocaine was said to have a street value of some two million U.S. dollars. Embassy officials in Northern Ireland and Britain have reportedly been in contact with Peruvian authorities to offer consular assistance to the suspects. Peru ranks among Colombia and Bolivia as one of the world's largest producers of cocaine.