The Brit who became famous last year for attempting to bring 290 Tramadol tablets into Egypt seems to have all but disappeared in the news following rumours that she was to be pardoned by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
The 34-year-old shop assistant from Hull, UK was arrested at Hurghada airport in October after stocks of the banned medication were found in her suitcase. After signing a 38-page-document in Arabic which she thought would allow her to leave the airport, she was detained in a small cell with 25 other women for almost a month.
Plummer’s family travelled to Egypt to visit her, telling reporters that her hair was starting to fall out due to stress, and that they were concerned she may not survive the ordeal. The family was reported to have been scammed out of £10000 – or $US 12,339 – by conmen posing as solicitors.
November saw her brother telling the media that Plummer had ‘made a mistake’ and had no idea the pills were illegal. It is maintained that they were for her partner, Omar Caboo, who has suffered from severe back pain following a car crash.
Sources told that he had been her husband for 18 months, and that Laura visited him two to four times per year. The marriage, however, is not legally binding in the UK, simply allowing them to cohabit while she is in Egypt. Caboo reportedly has another wife and other girlfriends, but the family maintains that he has been by their side throughout the investigation.
By this time, the Plummer family were on their third lawyer, after having to refuse one representative’s order to lie to the police. Caboo submitted newspaper evidence supporting Plummer’s statement that the pills were for his back, giving the family hope for her release. This included X-rays, medical records, and a marriage certificate. It was made known that Plummer was to face a criminal trial.
Contrary to the family’s hopes for her release, December saw Plummer jailed for three years, and she was moved to the notorious Qena prison. Reports claiming that she had been attacked were found to be untrue.
In January, the family was preparing for Plummer’s imminent release following rumours that she was to be freed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as part of the Revolution Day celebrations. Unfortunately, the pardon issued for 477 prisoners did not include Plummer’s name, and the issue is surrounded by confusion.
The Guardian reported that Plummer’s lawyer, Mohamed Osman, had told journalists and her local MP that he was “95 percent certain” that her name would be included on a list of prisoners to be freed, but that this information would not be announced by Egyptian officials until at least 27 January.
The Sun reported that the British Embassy in Cairo had said there had been a mistake, while Plummer’s sister maintains that the Foreign Office stated, with 95 percent certainty, that she was on the pardon list. The Foreign Office, however, denied claims that it said she would be released, and the Egyptian Embassy said that there was no pardon from the beginning, calling the fiasco ‘fake news’.
And so it seems now that Plummer remains in jail, the latest being that the investigation into how she obtained the Tramadol was dropped in February due to insufficient evidence. On the bright side, following a recent visit, Plummer’s family told The Sun how she “looked a lot better […] has her own bed and everyone is being really nice to her.”