World News: Laura Plummer latest – why was she jailed in Egypt, where’s Cairo’s Al Qanater prison and what is Tramadol?

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A BRIT shop assistant jailed for carrying painkillers into Egypt has been pictured for the first time since her arrest.

Laura Plummer was found to have nearly 300 Tramadol pills in her suitcase and was jailed for three years on Boxing Day last year. Here’s the latest on her case.

Laura Plummer says she was taking the Tramadol for her ‘husband’ Omar Abd El Azim

Who is Laura Plummer, why was she arrested and when was she jailed?

Laura Plummer, from Hull, was arrested in Egypt after 290 Tramadol tablets and some naproxen were found in her suitcase.

The 33-year-old shop worker was detained at Hurghada international airport on suspicion of trafficking drugs on October 9.

She said she was transporting the pills for her Egyptian husband Omar Abd El Azim, 31, who suffers from back pain following a car crash.

She claims she was unaware the drug – sometimes used as a heroin substitute – were banned in Egypt.

Laura was jailed for three years on Boxing Day last year after being found guilty of drug possession.

She reportedly married her Egyptian lover Omar by signing a form 18 months ago after meeting at the Red Sea holiday resort of Hurghada, where he was entertainments manager.

It emerged her Egyptian ‘husband’ had another wife and other girlfriends.

Laura, left, was caught carrying painkillers for her husband Omar, right

Her husband has spoken out about Plummer’s ordeal, saying it’s “all his fault”.

Speaking for the first time since her conviction, the lifeguard told the Daily Mail: “I’m the reason for what happened because she brought this especially for me.”

Was Laura officially pardoned and is she going to be freed?

The Sun exclusively revealed the Brit was seemingly set to walk free after appearing on a pardon list issued by Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Laura said she “couldn’t wait to get home” after being told she would  be freed from her Cairo prison hell.

However, on January 29 The Sun broke the news that the pardon had been withdrawn.

The British Embassy in Cairo  informed her heartbroken mum Roberta, 63, there had been a “mistake”.

It meant that the Brit now faces a further six months before an appeal can be heard.

Her mum told The Sun: “How can they do this to her? It’s so cruel. We’ve been double-crossed.”

Her lawyer Mohamed Osman said he was told Laura’s name was on the presidential pardon list.

He said: “I told them to double check. They said again, ‘Laura’s name is on the list’.”

But Egyptian authorities have since claimed there was ‘no way’ Laura would have been granted a pardon at this stage.

A spokesman told the Mirror: “There was never any official confirmation from us.

“She has not yet appealed so there are other avenues for her to try. You can only get a pardon where you have exhausted all other options.

“There was no way this was ever going to happen.”

Hull East MP Karl Turner said: “I have had almost daily contact with the Minister of State, Alistair Burt, since Laura was arrested in October last year.

“At no point has he confirmed to me that the Foreign Office has been notified of any presidential pardon being granted or of Laura’s imminent release.”

The Foreign Office said: “Our embassy remains in regular contact with the Egyptian authorities.”

Where is Al Qanater prison?

Laura is being held in Al Qanater prison in Cairo and was pictured this week for the first time since October attending a makeshift church.

She is now locked up 24 hours a day in a 5m x 3m cockroach-infested cell with several other women prisoners and only has a blanket to keep warm.

Books and radios are banned and inmates are regularly subjected to humiliating strip searches and body inspections.

Laura Plummer pictured inside a makeshift church at Egypt’s Al Qanater prison during religious prayers

Laura must also wear a standard issue all-white prison dress called a jilbab.

Overcrowded Al Qanater, the largest women’s prison in Egypt, holds up to 1,100 inmates, more than double its capacity.

Family are allowed to visit but can only do so at 15-day intervals and for only 15 minutes at a time.

Its conditions have previously been slammed by human rights experts.

What is Tramadol and why is it illegal in Egypt?

In Britain, Tramadol is prescription-only, but it is banned in Egypt where addicts use it as a heroin substitute.

The opioid painkiller, which increases alertness and numbs pain, is often given after surgery for toothache or for long-term conditions.

Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity, which runs helplines for addicts, listed Tramadol as the most abused drug in 2017 – ahead of cannabis and heroin.

Family of Laura Plummer reveal on This Morning she is a ‘shell’ of herself after being jailed in Egy

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