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Drug smuggler calls hometown paper from Peru jail

A drug smuggler currently facing a jail term in a South American prison turned to his hometown weekly in the UK to highlight his case.

Ainsley White, from Warrington, is facing more than six years in a Peruvian prison after being caught trying smuggle 1.2kilos of cocaine into the country.

The 25-year-old traded in his Nike tracksuit to get money to bribe the guards into letting him use a phone to call the Warrington Guardian.

The paper said that Ainsley is hoping exposure to his story in the press will persuade Peruvian authorities to deport him back to the UK for him to serve the rest of his sentence here.

He was arrested at Lima airport at the end of January after swallowing the class A drug in 85 capsules which showed up on a body scanner. The haul is worth around £100,000.

Although White has not been sentenced, he has been told he faces six years, seven months in jail.

He told news editor Gareth Dunning: “I hold my hands up, I have been really stupid. If one of the capsules had exploded, I would have died.

“But conditions here are like nothing else. It is so corrupt – if you are willing to pay, you can get anything.

“I woke up to find cockroaches running over my face. This place is run by the inmates who have knives and guns. You need money to get anything, there are no human rights.”

He is currently sleeping on a floor until he can find a spare cell to buy for around $1,500 and told the Warrington Guardian he has seen men hang themselves.

White is currently getting help from the charity Prisoners Abroad, the British embassy in Peru and his family and friends.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office told the Guardian: “We confirm the arrest of a British National (Ainsley White) on 29 January at Lima International Airport. We are providing consular assistance.”