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Rise in Britons held abroad over drugs

THE number of Britons arrested abroad for drug offences rose last year, according to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) figures.

There were 708 cases of Britons arrested for drug offences overseas in 2013/14, up from 669 in 2012/13.

Of the cases, 173 were in Spain - a 68 per cent rise on the 2012/13 figure, with the FCO saying this may have been due to an increase in local authority action.

The second-largest number of drug arrests involving Britons last year was in America, with 102 cases. But this was a 29 per cent fall on the 2012/13 ­American total.

Overall, the FCO said drug arrests were low last year compared with previous years. There were 816 cases in 2011/12, 799 in 2010/11 and as many as 994 in 2009/10.

Despite the rise in drug arrests, the number of arrests for all offences involving British nationals abroad fell fractionally from 5,435 in 2012/13 to 5,418 in 2013/14.

The figures include Melissa Reid, one of the so-called Peru Two who were arrested for trying to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of South America. The 20-year-old, from Lenzie, is currently in a Peruvian prison and has applied to be transferred to a facility in Scotland.

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