A 22-year-old Australian women, Cassie Sainsbury, has been arrested in Cambodia after being caught with more than 5kg of cocaine concealed in boxes of headphones and faces a possible 20 years in jail.
Ms Sainsbury, who was trying to fly home from El Dorado Airport in Bogota, was caught with the illegal substance in her luggage following a tip off, according to Columbian drug police, with Colonel Rodrigo Soler telling The Australian that Ms Sainsbury’s ‘travel plans raised suspicions’.
According to Ms Sainsbury however, she says that she was ‘duped into carrying the drugs after buying bulk headphones for her upcoming wedding’.
Colonel Soler also added that Ms Sainsbury’s story is a familiar one, saying, “We have people from Mexico, Spain, all different places, all ages using all different methods”, and further added that, due to the amount she was carrying, she did not qualify for bail or house arrest and remains locked up in Bogota’s El Buen Paster women’s prison.
Ports and airports director for Colombia’s anti-narcotic police Jorge Mendoza has also spoken about Ms Sainsbury’s case, telling ABC radio that, “She could possibly be a drug mule. In going through security we found she had 18 packets inside her luggage which even before opening it we found covered in plastic”.
Ms Sainsbury’s mother, Lisa Evans, has defended her daughter through this ordeal, saying that she was ‘set up by a Colombian man she befriended while on a “working” holiday’, with her fiance, Scotty Broadbridge, also saying on the fundraising page set up for her that, “Although Cassie is a PT, she is not currently personal training and hasn’t been for six months,
“I don’t know why that was mentioned at all”, he continued, “She helped manage a commercial cleaning business that had both national and international clients … it’s very easy for tourists to get targeted, especially in Colombia”.
Although Ms Sainsbury’s family have been making public comments about the case, Australian lawyers have advised them not to make any more and to take down their fundraising campaign they set up for her, which has collected $3770 in the past five days.
A court date has not yet been set for Ms Sainsbury’s case.