Laura Plummer loses appeal in Egypt for smuggling painkillers

laura-plummer_640x360Laura Plummer was jailed in Egypt for smuggling painkillers into the country has lost an appeal against her conviction.

The 34-year-old from Hull was sentenced to three years in prison in December 2017 after she was found with 290 tablets of the opioid painkiller Tramadol in her suitcase at Hurghada airport, a Red Sea destination popular with foreign tourists.

Plummer, a shop assistant, claimed the painkillers, which are legal in the UK, were for her Egyptian husband’s back pain.

Plummer had hoped to convince judges she had no way of knowing the pills were banned in the country, but her conviction was upheld.

The opioid is banned in Egypt due to its widespread use as a heroin substitute. The north African country has a growing rate of opioid and heroin use, as well as a spiralling HIV epidemic.

She reportedly broke down in tears as her family and Egyptian husband Omar Saad broke the news to her inside the notorious al-Qanater prison,The Sun  reported.

Plummer told the paper: “I thought the appeal judges would see sense and realise I couldn’t have known the tablets were banned. It’s just so absurd.”

Her mother Roberta Synclair said: “We’re disappointed, but not surprised. Each time we come to Egypt we prepare for the worst.”

Plummer was reportedly suicidal due to the cramped and squalid conditions at the prison in Cairo, where she is being held.