Cassandra Sainsbury: Accused cocaine smuggler

So many questions on this one folks. I waited and hung back a few days to see what else was revealed to the public. Shame the way is being trickled out…

Not to sell papers or anything surely?

I personally feel she has been busted red handed and used a well-drilled script when caught.

Shame the family in OZ was NOT aware of it and spilled their guts as a family would do. Not smart though…Cheers Robbo

Please Make comment

ACCUSED Australian drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury posted a series of cryptic social media comments in the lead-up to her ill-fated world trip, which culminated in her arrest at Colombia’s biggest airport last month.

It has already been reported that the 22-year-old Adelaide woman made a series of international

trips to and from Australia in the six months preceding her journey to South America, where authorities allegedly found almost 6kg of cocaine inside her suitcase on April 11.

But early this year an opportunity apparently arose that seemed too good for the former personal trainer to pass up.

In a strangely prophetic Instagram post, Ms Sainsbury appears to have been counting down the days until a life-changing event.

The now deleted January 10 post read: “50 days until I make the biggest move I’ve yet to do … 50 days until everything changes.”

She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.

On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: “Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can’t wait to leave so much baggage behind.”

Cassie Sainsbury pictured following her arrest at El Dorado International Airport on April 11. Picture: Supplied Source:AFP

Cassandra Sainsbury Instagram images. cassieleigh_p_t Source:Instagram


It is not clear when Ms Sainsbury departed from Australia or from which port but both Instagram posts contain hashtags indicating travel or relocation to Sydney, possibly around March 1 (when the 50 day count down ended).

Her social media trail places her in China later that month and in the US in early April.

On April 3, Ms Sainsbury instagrammed from Los Angeles airport, complaining about the temperature contrast between the two countries: “LAX — so busy yet, so organised. On another note. Going from China’s lovely 27 degree weather to LA’s 7 degree weather is killing me!”

She appears to have caught a connecting flight to Bogota from LA because authorities record her as having arrived in Colombia on the same day — April 3.

On April 8, she posted a photograph from Bogota along with the comment: “Can’t complain about an all expenses paid work trip, in which (sic) is mainly holiday very little work. It’s the simple things that are the true beauty in the world. Mother Nature has been putting on quite the show for me over here.”

This Jan 24 post mentions a move interstate.Source: Supplied

Cassie’s cryptic but prophetic January 10 Instagram post.Source: Supplied


Ms Sainsbury’s family has claimed she was on a working holiday to promote her personal training business — a claim which appears to be supported by Ms Sainsbury’s Instagram posts which are riddled with fitness-related hashtags.

But her fiance Scotty Broadbridge has told a completely different story, claiming she hadn’t done any personal training work for months and that her most recent job involved “helping to manage” a cleaning company.

“Although Cassie is a PT, she is not currently personal training and hasn’t been for 6 months. I don’t know why that was mentioned at all,” Mr Broadbridge wrote on Ms Sainsbury’s fundraising page before it was deactivated on Monday night after raising more than $4000.

“She helped manage a commercial cleaning business that had both national and international clients. Unfortunately it’s very easy for tourists to get targeted, especially in Colombia.”

Ms Sainsbury’s April 3 post from LAX.Source: Supplied


Ms Sainsbury’s April 3 post from LAX.Source:Supplied


Mr Broadbridge’s sister Jasmin also defended Ms Sainsbury on social media.

“We’re all supposed to unite in times like this but I’ve been reading the most hateful and negative comments that people have been writing about someone who is a total stranger to them,” she wrote on Facebook.

“You can assume what you want, but Cassie is a beautiful and strong person and everyone who knows her, even just a little bit, knows that there is absolutely no way she is guilty.”

Ms Sainsbury was moments from arriving at Gate 32 at Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport when narcotics police swooped on a tip-off from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Her luggage tags show she had successfully checked in to board Flight AV120 from Bogota to London’s Heathrow Airport, flying with Avianca Airways, Colombia’s national airline since 1919.

Cassie Sainsbury, 22, and her fiancee Scotty Broadbridge. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook


Police allegedly found 5.8kg of cocaine wrapped in black plastic and stuffed into 15 boxes of headphones that she claimed to have bought on the cheap from a man she befriended who had been acting as her translator in the Colombian capital.

Ms Sainsbury told her mother Lisa Evans that she packed the headphones into her suitcase without checking them and had no knowledge of the hidden contraband.

“I can’t believe this has happened to an innocent young woman,” her grandmother Barbara Johns said.

“Anyone who knows Cassie, knows she did not do this. It can happen to anyone.”

Ms Sainsbury is currently awaiting trial in Bogota’s most notorious women’s prison, El Buen Pastor (which means “The Good Shepherd”), on drug trafficking charges and faces up to 25 years if convicted.

However that sentence is likely to be reduced to six years if she pleads guilty and four years if she agrees to identify others involved. The latter option puts Ms Sainsbury between a rock and a hard place, given that spilling the beans on alleged drug syndicate members could see her labelled a snitch, thereby endangering her life inside jail.

Accused drug mule’s fiance and lawyer address the media

Cassie Sainsbury’s fiance Scott Boradbridge says he will support the accused Adelaide drug mule

THE fiance of accused Adelaide drug mule Cassie Sainsbury has told a packed media conference he believes she is innocent and had no involvement with the drug trade.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Scott Broadbridge said he had “no doubt that Cassie is innocent of these charges and I will support her no matter how long this takes”.

But her Adelaide lawyer, Steven Kenny, who was hired by Ms Sainsbury in a phone call, said her court date could be two to three years away if her case went to trial.

“It won’t be speedy, that’s the advice I’ve had from Colombia,” he said.

Mr Broadbridge, who kept his head down as he read from a prepared statement, said he and “Cass” were engaged and he intended to marry her.

“I know that there are many unanswered questions in this case and I intend to work with the lawyers to get to the bottom of them,” he said.

Calling her “the delight of his life” he said he knew she was not a drug smuggler.

“I know that she is not involved in the drug trade, I know that she was not deliberately taking drugs or carrying drugs anywhere,” he said.

Mr Kenny, who defended former detainee David Hicks and was the first lawyer to visit Guantánamo Bay, said he had great faith in the Colombian legal system, which carried the presumption of innocence, and he asked the media to not prejudge his new client’s guilt or innocence.

“I would like to think Cassie’s defence will be run in a court in Colombia, not in the Adelaide media,” he said.

Scott Broadbridge, fiance of Cassie Sainsbury, with Adelaide lawyer Steven Kenny. Picture: Greg Higgs

Mr Broadbridge said he hoped to fly to Colombia to visit her soon, and to prove her innocence.

Mr Kenny could not answer questions about which cleaning company Ms Sainsbury worked for, who bought her ticket out of Colombia in Hong Kong or how long she had been travelling, and said detailed questions such as this would be followed up through her Colombian legal team.

He said the first thing he could do from Adelaide was to make sure she had good defence in Colombia. Mr Kenny accepted the job pro bono because he had legal friends in Colombia and felt he could help.

“We are working with them and taking what we think are appropriate steps,” he said.

The aspiring model and fitness trainer was arrested at an airport in Colombia with 5.8kg of cocaine in her luggage. Despite the evidence against her, Mr Broadbridge said he loved her and believed in her and was doing everything to try to get her out.

Ingrid Hernandes, Bogota hotel manager discusses Cassandra Sainsbury stay

Ms Sainsbury, 22, is being held in Bogota’s El Buen Pastor women’s jail after she was busted with the cocaine — which was hidden inside packages of headphones — in her luggage as she was about to fly out of Colombia.

Mr Broadbridge said that despite the collapse of her gym, personal trainer Ms Sainsbury was debt-free when she jetted overseas on the ill-fated trip.

“There absolutely were no debts. She ran a business and it didn’t work out. She’s just an ordinary girl with aspirations,” he said.

“I’m just scared for her and don’t want to jeopardise anything as it’s early stages. We’re worried for her future, she’s not doing great.”

But his decision to “break his silence” drew criticism from members of Ms Sainsbury’s family, who have been told not to comment by her Colombian lawyer. Mr Kenny said some of the reporting in the media could damage Ms Sainsbury’s case and that he and Mr Broadbridge were having discussions with Ms Sainbury’s family.

Mr Kenny said he was asked by Ms Sainsbury in a brief phone call to act for her and he had no argument with Sydney lawyer, Jay Williams, who had until now been her only Australian lawyer.

“Jay is a barrister, he’s not a solicitor, and he is not in Adelaide which I think is why Scott came to see me,” he said.

Asked about her state of mind, he said it was a short call but that Ms Sainsbury was “a young woman in a foreign jail, in a foreign country, you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

She was being visited regularly by Australian consular officials who were reporting back to the family on her welfare.

Cassie Sainsbury with the 5.8kg of cocaine she is accused of smuggling out of Columbia. Photo: Columbia Antinarcotics Police.

Sister Khala Sainsbury said the truth would come out soon.

“It has gone too far,” she said of rumours coming out of Yorketown, on Yorke Peninsula.

The allegations first emerged when a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Advertiser Ms Sainsbury left the Yorke Peninsula owing several people money.

Others have backed the claims.

But the landlord of the Yorketown gym previously used by Ms Sainsbury, and the father of her ex-boyfriend, say she had no debts with them.

On Thursday, Nick Paphitis said Ms Sainsbury had paid all her rent before she moved to Adelaide.

Claims she owed ex-boyfriend Luke Tape money borrowed to help set up Yorke’s Gym were rejected by his father, Richard.

Cassie Sainsbury: What we know so far


It comes as her Bogota lawyer Orlando Herran said Australian diplomats were trying to convince Colombian authorities to let Ms Sainsbury serve her almost certain jail sentence at home.

She is being advised to accept the charges against her in order to reduce her sentence after she was caught with the drugs.

Mr Herran said diplomats were working on a deal that would see her move from El Buen Pastor women’s jail to one in Australia, but only after a conviction was recorded.

Ms Sainsbury posted a series of cryptic social media comments in the lead-up to her ill-fated world trip, which culminated in her arrest at Colombia’s biggest airport last month.

It has already been reported that the Adelaide woman made a series of international trips to and from Australia in the six months preceding her journey to South America.

But early this year, an opportunity apparently arose that seemed too good for the former personal trainer to pass up.

Cassandra Sainsbury with her fiance Scott Broadbridge. Picture: Facebook

In a strangely prophetic Instagram post, Ms Sainsbury appears to have been counting down the days until a life-changing event.

The now deleted January 10 post read: “50 days until I make the biggest move I’ve yet to do … 50 days until everything changes.”

She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.

On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: “Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can’t wait to leave so much baggage behind.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Australian consular staff were continuing to provide assistance to Ms Sainsbury, but did not have an embassy in Bogota and the assistance was being organised “from outside Colombia”.


How Cassandra Sainsbury’s ticket reportedly got her caught

Cassandra Sainsbury’s father wants his daughter to come home
Charis Chang and Sarah Blake in Bogota

THE father of accused Aussie drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury has broken his silence, three weeks after his daughter landed in a Colombian prison.


Stuart Sainsbury told Nine News he is standing by the 22-year-old because “a father’s love is unconditional and never stops, regardless of what happens”.

He said he does not believe she is “a drug mule”.

“I don’t believe she was a drug mule, she’s just my kid. What parent thinks their kid is a drug mule? I just love her and I can’t change what’s happened. I just have to be here when she comes home.”

Earlier, he told reporters “I don’t want to be tied up in all this,” the Mail Online reported.

“Listen, whatever is going on has nothing to do with me, and I have nothing to say about it,” he said from his home in Yorketown, South Australia.

“You can ring my lawyer if you don’t understand me. It’s got nothing to do with me.”

He told the Adelaide Advertiser that his “love doesn’t change no matter what (your children) do” and said no Australian officials had been in touch with him.

The comments follow revelations that Cassie was caught because the US Drug Enforcement Agency alerted Colombian authorities to their suspicions about her plane ticket, reports suggest.

Ms Sainsbury, 22, was arrested at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota on April 12 after a tip-off about the 5.8kg of cocaine allegedly hidden inside what she thought were 18 boxes of headphones in her suitcase.

The South Australian is now being held in a women’s jail in Colombia and is reportedly struggling to adjust to her new life inside prison.

An American woman who walked free from El Buen Pastor prison on Tuesday after serving a 17 month sentence, told Newscorp she had helped support Cassie, along with another woman inside the jail.

“Because she is so young there are a lot of people trying to take advantage of her,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named.

Stuart Sainsbury, the father of accused Aussie drug smuggler, Cassandra. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

“Not only that, when she was at the police station they took most of her stuff — all of her clothes, her money.”

The woman said Cassie was receiving some support from Australian consular staff but was told she would only receive a visit every few months.

“She’s just wearing a sweater and pants and a top, the same ones. I offered her something but she said no thank you.”

Meanwhile it has emerged that Ms Sainsbury may have been arrested after a tip-off from US authorities.

“We found her because of an alert from the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Agency),” Bogota airport’s narcotics chief, Commander Rodrigo Soler, told News Corp Australia Network.

He said she had cleared security, checked her bag and was minutes away from boarding her flight when the alert came up.

“The alert said check this person so we pulled her aside and we searched her luggage and we arrested her. We asked ‘is this your bag, did you pack this?’. She said ‘yes’.”

Soler told The Australian Ms Sainsbury’s ticket, which was bought at the last minute by an unknown party in Hong Kong for a trip from Australia to Bogota via London, was one of several red flags that caused North American agencies to alert Colombian police.

The Adelaide woman’s family insists she is innocent and was set up by a Colombian man she met after arriving in the South American country on April 3 during a working holiday.

They say she bought the headphones from him to give as gifts to family and friends at her upcoming wedding.

A photo released by Colombia's National Police press shows Australian Cassandra Sainsbury in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia. Picture: Colombia's National Police via AP

A photo released by Colombia’s National Police press shows Australian Cassandra Sainsbury in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia. Picture: Colombia’s National Police via APSource:AP

An expert on the South American drug trade says there was no way the former fitness trainer would have the connections to sell almost $2 million worth of cocaine, and someone must have been waiting to receive it in Australia.

Rusty Young, wrote the book Marching Powder and is about to release a book Colombiano after living in Colombia for eight years. He said the South Australian woman’s story didn’t add up.

“Her version of events is not consistent with the way drug rings operate,” Mr Young told yesterday.

“If you were planting $1 million worth of drugs in someone’s baggage, how were you intending to recover the drugs back in Australia?”

Ms Sainsbury’s sister Khala posted on a fundraising page that the 22-year-old was detained for drug trafficking at the airport in Bogota “waiting to depart back to Australia”. But it’s since been reported that Cassie may have intended to continue on her working holiday to make presentations in London, France and Hong Kong.

Her sister said she was not due back in Australia until Easter Saturday, April 15.

It’s unclear where the drugs were ultimately headed but Mr Young believes if they were being shipped to Australia, someone would have been waiting for them to come in.

“There’s no way a 22-year-old could have the connections to distribute and sell almost 6kg of cocaine,” he said.

“There must have been someone in Australia to receive those drugs.”

Mr Young also dismissed fears that Ms Sainsbury could be targeted by cartels while imprisoned in Colombia.

“That’s absolute nonsense,” he said. “Cartels don’t run drug mules through airports, they run tonnes of cocaine. There’s no professional Colombian organisation behind this.”

Despite concerns about Ms Sainsbury’s safety, Mr Young said he thought she would be physically safe in the overcrowded El Buen Pastor women’s jail.

“They would have put her in the foreign section with foreign inmates,” he said.

Australian diplomatic staff have also reportedly delivered her a mattress and blanket to use in her cell.

Mr Young said he also thought Ms Sainsbury would get a fair trial in Colombia, although justice would be slow.

Even if she plead guilty, Mr Young said it would probably still take six to nine months for her to go through the justice system. A trial would probably take three years just to reach a verdict and would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Mr Young said his thoughts were with Ms Sainsbury and her family.

“They are in for a long and difficult journey,” he said.

A handout photo made available by the press office of the Colombian Anti-narcotics Police, on 01 May 2017 shows Australian citizen Cassandra Sainsbury during her detention with 5.8 kilos of cocaine at the International Airport the Dorado, in Bogota, Colombia, on 11 April 2017. Picture: EPA/Col Anti-narcotics Police

A handout photo made available by the press office of the Colombian Anti-narcotics Police, on 01 May 2017 shows Australian citizen Cassandra Sainsbury during her detention with 5.8 kilos of cocaine at the International Airport the Dorado, in Bogota, Colombia, on 11 April 2017. Picture: EPA/Col Anti-narcotics PoliceSource:AAP

Ms Sainsbury’s family has previously said the 22-year-old travelled to Colombia on April 3 for a working holiday. It’s unclear what visa she was travelling on and what job she was doing overseas.

There is no working holiday maker visa arrangement between Australia and Colombia, and working visas require Australians to prove they have a skill set Colombians don’t possess.

“The most common work visa would be for English teachers,” Mr Young said.

But Australians can enter Colombia for 90 days as a visitor without a visa.

It has also emerged that Ms Sainsbury was reportedly arrested following a tip-off from international drug agencies and her travel plans had raised suspicions, anti narco trafficking control, Colonel Rodrigo Soler, told The Australian.

The South Australian was arrested minutes before she was due to fly back to Australia from El Dorado International Airport in Bogota.

Colombian police have released a photo of the young Aussie in handcuffs standing in front of a table lined with 18 packages, which Ms Sainsbury thought were headphones she bought as wedding gifts and presents for her friends and family.

Jorge Mendoza, the ports and airports director for Colombia’s anti-narcotic police, says he doubted Ms Sainsbury didn’t know the drugs were hidden inside the packages.

“She could possibly be a drug mule,” Mendoza told ABC radio through an interpreter on Tuesday.

“In going through security we found she had 18 packets inside her luggage, which even before opening it we found covered in plastic.

“Her explanation is not credible. Everyone we catch says they didn’t know it was in their luggage.”

Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Triana, head of the anti-narcotics police at Bogota’s international airport was also sceptical about the Australian’s innocence.

He said Ms Sainsbury’s claims that she was deceived are probably untrue and in any case don’t excuse her actions.

“Everyone who is caught says exactly the same thing,” said Lt Colonel Triana, who added that many foreigners are lured by false promises of fast fortunes.”

As tourism to Colombia has boomed over the past decade, the country’s drug cartels are increasingly recruiting foreigners to smuggle cocaine out of the country. Police have arrested 19 foreign drug mules this year alone, Lt Colonel Triana said.

The Adelaide woman’s family insists she is innocent and was set up by a Colombian man she met after arriving in the South American country on April 3 during a working holiday.

But public comments made by her family about her case may have unwittingly put the 22-year-old in danger, The Australian has reported.

Senior Australian lawyers familiar with the case told the paper that if the cartels found out what Ms Sainsbury’s mother had been saying, she could be in danger inside the notorious El Buen Pastor jail where she is being held.

El Buen Pastor prison for women in Bogota, Colombia. Source: Roger Triana

El Buen Pastor prison for women in Bogota, Colombia. Source: Roger TrianaSource:Supplied

El Buen Pastor is Bogota’s biggest women’s prison, and inmates live in overcrowded and filthy conditions alongside violent criminals, their children and babies and corrupt guards who steal food brought to prisoners by their families.

On Monday, Ms Sainsbury’s mother Lisa Evans told KIIS that her daughter was facing a potential jail sentence of between 18 to 25 years, but if she pleaded guilty this would be reduced.

She said the minimum sentence was six years but this could be reduced to four if Ms Sainsbury provided information about the man who gave her the drugs.

Ms Evans said Cassie had trusted the man who gave her the drugs, and he had been acting as her translator in Colombia.

“He had been helping her all week, taking her around and showing her places, and just being a nice guy,” Ms Evans said.

It is understood lawyers in Australia have now advised the family not to make any further public comments and to take down an online fundraising campaign on FundRazr.

The campaign has raised more than $4000 for Ms Sainsbury and remains active, although many of the posts express scepticism about Cassie’s story.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested on drug charges in Colombia.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested on drug charges in Colombia.Source:Instagram

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine and its police among the best-trained to detect and stop drug smuggling thanks in part to billions of dollars in US anti-narcotics aid that has strengthened law enforcement.

— With AP/AAP

Cassie Sainsbury Faces Up To 25 Years For 5.8kg Cocaine Haul

The Adelaide personal trainer says she was set up by a man she had just met.

01/05/2017 10:22 AM AEST | Updated 01/05/2017 2:30 PM AEST


An Adelaide based personal trainer and volunteer firefighter is facing up to 25 years in a Colombian prison after 5.8 kilograms of cocaine was found in her suitcase.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested for drug trafficking offences at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá when she went to catch her flight back to Australia following an eight-day working holiday in Colombia on April 11.

But her family say she is “naive” and had been set up by a man she had met who gave her what she believed was a package of headphones.

Sainsbury’s sister, Khala, told the media that a man she met while travelling offered to bulk buy the headphones cheaply for her, which she wanted as gifts for her bridal party at her upcoming wedding to fiance Scott Broadbridge.

Anyone that knows her would say she is a kind, loving, happy kind of girl.”

“Cassie, being young, said she’d do it. And it came to her already packaged and sealed so she put it straight in her suitcase not thinking,” Khala said. “She’s very naive.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to HuffPost Australia that they are assisting an Australian woman arrested in Colombia, but declined to give further details “due to our privacy obligations”.

Colombia is the world’s largest cocaine producer, providing more than half of the world’s illicit supply — 487 tons annually. Profits from the drug amount to around 1 per cent of the nation’s GDP and provide livelihoods for around 65,000 farming families in remote areas, according to UN estimates.

But the Government has cracked down on the drug trade in recent years in an attempt to clean up its image, with heavy penalties for those caught trafficking. The maximum penalty for trafficking cocaine is 25 years.

The Adelaide woman’s mother, Lisa Evans, told KIIS FM that Sainsbury is innocent, but is considering pleading guilty to reduce her sentence.

Cassie Sainsbury with her fiance and “love of her life” Scott Broadbridge. The couple were preparing to wed early next year.

“If she pleads guilty the minimum is six years,” Evans said.

“If Cassie gives information about the person that gave her the package it may come down to four.”

Evans reportedly told Channel Nine’s Today Show she could not believe someone could do this to her daughter.

“Cassie is just, ‘I didn’t do it mum, you have got to get me out’ and crying hysterically,” Evans said.

Sainsbury has been denied bail and is currently in the notorious El Buen Pastor women’s prison, where she is sharing a cell with up to 250 women in squalid conditions. She is due to face trial in two months’ time, her family says.

The 22-year-old’s sister has set up a fundraising page to raise money towards Cassie’s legal costs.

“Cassie would never do anything like what she has been accused off,” Khala wrote on the page.

“Anyone that knows her would say she is a kind, loving, happy kind of girl. She would help anyone out in need.”

But the page has drawn criticism from some posters, who accused the family “begging” for money

After four days, the campaign had only raised $2,610 towards its $15,000 goal.

Cassandra Sainsbury: Accused cocaine smuggler ‘would have known drugs were in her bag’


An Australian woman used unsophisticated methods to try to conceal 18 packets of cocaine in her luggage and her family’s claims she was set up are not believable, Colombian drug authorities say.

Key points:

  • Colombian drug police say Australian woman would have known the drugs were in the bag
  • Cocaine in headphones “not really a very sophisticated mode of concealment”
  • Cassandra Sainsbury faces up to 20 years in jail

Adelaide’s Cassandra Sainsbury, 22, was arrested minutes before boarding a flight at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in plastics bags and packed within boxes of headphones.

Family of the former personal trainer said she was an unwitting drug mule and the headphones were bought as gifts for bridal party guests.

Colonel Jorge Mendoza, the head of ports and airports for the Colombian drug enforcement police department, dismissed the family’s version of events, saying she would have known the narcotics were in her bags.

“There was not really a very sophisticated mode of concealment,” he said.

“The drugs were wrapped in bags, 18 packets as I said previously, inside her suitcase.

“So, it is difficult to say that she did not know that the substance was inside her suitcase.”

Ms Sainsbury’s sister Khala said the 22-year-old was in Colombia for a working holiday and the headphones were purchased from a contact.

Colonel Mendoza has previously said the arrest came as the result of a tip-off and was indistinguishable from a growing number of drug cases involving foreigners.

Colonel Mendoza has said he was confident the seizure would lead to jail time and depending on the quality of the drugs, the maximum penalty could be 20 years’ imprisonment.

A Colombian lawyer advised the family she plead guilty to reduce the sentence to a possible six years.

Ms Sainsbury’s family has raised thousands of dollars online to fund her legal defence and support her.

Ms Sainsbury has been transferred to the Colombian capital’s notorious El Buen Pastor women’s prison.

Joanna Adams, the daughter of a lawyer who has given legal advice to Ms Sainsbury, has told the ABC’s AM program her father said the Australian “has her up and downs”.

“Some days she’s good and some days she’s very bad,” Ms Adams said.

The 22-year-old was preparing to board a flight to London on her way back to Australia when she was arrested.




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19 thoughts on “Cassandra Sainsbury: Accused cocaine smuggler”

  1. This was my Facebook Post 3 hours ago- “Colombian Authorities say that they way the Cocaine was packed into the headphone boxes would have been extremely obvious to any person carrying the packages in their suitcase that they were full of Cocaine. Have a look at the packages in the photograph in the story. There is no way known this woman is innocent. The headphone packages are highly suspect & if I saw those packages, there is no way I’d be carrying them out of the country without opening one to see why they are so bulky & heavy, & why they are wrapped in black plastic & not the original headphone packaging. GUILTY AS CHARGED I’M AFRAID”!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The BF is a cocky little fella.I’m certain she wears the pants in this relationship.

      AS long as he was living the high life his view would be why ask…. let the fun continue….

      So what happened in 24 hours? Smuggler said to BF you better start supporting me or I tell everything….

      AS dumb as they do seem they really get sucked in when the dodgy officer says yes this line is safe secure and nobody listening. In other word confess to loved ones. Do legal research before you choose the butter up

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not looking good for her. She has travelled overseas a few times in the recent past. Went to Colombia on a working holiday when they don’t allow that there. Her ticket was bought by an unknown person in Hong Kong and she bought some cheap and nasty headphones to bring home to family and her bridal party. She hasn’t been a trainer for years and currently works for a commercial cleaning company.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not much of her or the family’s story ring true. Personal trainer ??going over there to advertise her trade, The story given is very hard to believe all round. Cheap headsets can be bought here very cheaply on eBay etc. funny how these fools can never identify the purchaser of an airline ticket. Come on now!! Don’t put money into this fruitless fund the media will pay them a heap of money for an interview.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The United States of America, Drug Enforcement Administration, ‘Special Operations Division’ or ‘DEA’ were working in joint liaison with the Colombian Authorities watching for foreigner drug smuggling mules. And had information and surveillance on these suspected cocaine trafficking mules and person’s of interest in suspected cocaine trafficking.
    The Head of Bogota Airport – Colombian Anti Narcotics Trafficking control Colonel said “We didn’t know who she was until she arrived at immigration and it came up on the system. Before that we were none the wiser. She had cleared security and checked her bag. The alert said check this person, so we pulled her aside and we searched her luggage and we arrested her. We asked: “Is this your bag, did you pack this?” She said “Yes”. She is one of 46 foreigners arrested by Colonel. Soler’s officers this year. Ms Sainsbury has been swept into the vast, bewildering bureaucracy of the justice system in South America’s cocaine capital.The DEA alerts Columbia’s National Police several times a month of suspected drug mules, Colonel. Soler said.
    This Australian young lady whether she was taking the risk knowingly carrying cocaine or was un-knowingly aware that the male Colombian drug trafficker that she befriended in Columbia, had used her as a drug mule, is still being investigated by the DEA and Colombian Authorities.

    Below…Related Drug Trafficking Documentaries. On the methods used by Drug Law Enforcement Agencies and Military to detect and arrest Narcotic’s – Drug Mule’s, Smugglers and Traffickers and Drug Cartel’s around the world…

    :Extreme Smuggling Documentary – On YouTube –

    :Inside The DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration , USA , Documentary. –

    :The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – (documentary) –


  4. COLUMBIA ! OMG another one giving blondes a bad name. Dodgy as hell. The red flags are really up on this one. Of course poor mums defending her brainless risk taking daughter. Of course she wouldnt do that. What needs to be said is who did she know. I couldnt go through hearing about another dumb Aussie caught up in a filthy hole of a place on drug smuggling charges. Ill make this comment and Im done it just makes me furious. A responsible parent and partner would not allow their daughter to go there in the first place no matter how old she is because to even think of going is enough to say well this young woman is not quite right in her choices so prevent these decisions from being made. Those generous but gullable people that donated money to help Id like to know why would you do that when you havent a clue what this person is about. More gullable aussies. Before I go yes I am an aussie too and Im embarressed by what I see.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is pretty obvious young and silly. In other countries she would have to pay with her life for this serious crime it is no folly. The strategy to keep low key is the best for her case. If they are smart we don’t hear much about it. The boyfriends involvement would interest me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I started secondary technical school back in 1979, the 1978 film film Midnight Express was new at the pictures, screening with a RATED R, you had to be 18 years old to go see it at the movies back then. The teachers talked about It in class as a very shocking but very good film. I had the paperback book which was talked about in social studies. Years later I eventually saw Midnight Express when it came out on video in 1983. It had to be reserved in the Video shop due to the public demand to get a copy and hire it,and it still had the R Rating Adults Only as a video.
    I had just turned 18, I was able to hire it.

    After watching this film about American Billy Hayes caught smuggling drugs in Turkey. It definitely had a major impact on me. Ironically a few years later I was to become a Prison Officer and see first hand the violence and horrible world of prison trafficking and the corruption and evil that the drug trade both behind bars and out on the streets, that the drug dealers and kingpins control.

    The point I am getting at, The film Midnight Express, very much shocked and educated me that drugs and drug trafficking are something to keep well away from. A few years after Midnight Express was on video, in 1988 there was another eye opening Australian television mini series: “Dadah Is Death” : A Long Way Home. (About Barlow and Chambers. An excellent film… With Hugo Weaving and John Polson which was Based on the true story, of Barlow and Chambers…Once again these excellent true story movies. Make an impact and Scare the living hell out of ever thinking about smuggling drugs…

    Todays young people at school need to be shown these old movies in drug education. And if their ever thinking of going overseas on trip to these foreign tough on drug crime anti drug trafficking countries, with the stupid intentions of making some quick big money as a drug mule smuggling any illegal drugs, there is a good chance just like Schapelle Corby, Billy Hayes of Midnight Express, Barlow and Chambers and The Bali 9, they will be detected by the authorities.

    :Dadah is Death 1988 – 2:50hrs – – A Excellent Must see film on Drug Trafficking. The Story of Barlow and Chambers trafficking drugs in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia – On Signs – “BE FOREWARNED! DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS UNDER MALAYSIAN LAW NO WHAT YOU CARRY”… “DEATH! THAT’S THE MANDATORY SENTENCE FOR ANY DADAH DRUG TRAFFICKER IN MALAYSIA”…

    :Midnight Express (1978) – Trailer – SonyPicsHomeEntWorld – – Starring The late Brad Davis and John Hurt and Randy Quaid and Norbert Weisser – Academy Award for best film and music. An Oliver Stone film with excellent music score by Giorgio Moroder.

    :Midnight Express – The Escape – https;//

    :Midnight Express (Theme from) Movie’s End Title Mk2 Vinyl Clip Edit) HQ – 6.51Mins –

    :Midnight Express Theme – The Chase –

    :Midnight Express Soundtrack –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Midnight Express Soundtrack – 6.00mins –

    :Midnight Express (1978) – Giorgio Moroder 13:09mins The Chase full theme from the movie. Awesome music to a amazing movie…

    :976) Turkey – Midnight Express Apologies – – 8.00mins – Interview with the real Billy Hayes arrested in Istanbul in 1970 trying to smuggle Hash out of Turkey,whom the Midnight Express 1978 movie was based.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here is an interesting scenario that worth trying to see if 6kg of cocaine would not be noticed with 18 sets of headphones when trying to smuggle it out of an airport.
    Go into a ‘Aldi or Coles’ supermarket dragging an empty tourists carry case. Now wheel the carry case to the sugar section. place three of the 2kg paper sugar packets which will equate to 6kg. The same amount and weight of the cocaine detected and seized.
    Now go to the entertainment area of the supermarket and pick up all the music headphones of the shelf, until there are 18 sets.
    Now place all these in the tourist carry case with the 6kg of sugar and proceed to the checkout, as if you were going through airport security customs to check your items at the checkout.
    Now the three 2kg sugar packets and the bag full of 18 headphones, would be rather heavy to lift on to the checkout counter for inspection.
    Now once the 3 x 2kg sugar bags are out of the tourist carry bag. There would still be some weight with 18 headphones still in the carry bag.
    So how in the name of hell could the cocaine mule (smuggler) young woman not notice at all, that the weight of all the headphones wrapped with 6kg of concealed cocaine did not feel heavier than it should if it just had 18 headphone packets in it?
    Even with the 18 headphone packets left out of the bag. The 6kg of sugar would be felt in the tourist carry bag. Just as carrying 3 – 2kg bags of sugar in a plastic bag in the supermarket would be quite noticeably heavy. So she was a personal trainer. Obviously not in weights? Lol…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well thought out.l don’t give her or any other drug cheats sympathy in any part of the world.
      After having worked in the prison system for 16 yrs until 2016 directly with prisoners myself, even dealers are in La la land and arrogant to the fact.

      Liked by 1 person


    There are varying accounts of just what Cassie Sainsbury did to draw the attention of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who sent an alert to Colombian narcotics police to search her luggage should she try to leave the country. This tip- off led to her arrest, and it was the last-minute purchase of her airline ticket home, paid for by cash by an unknown “third party” in Hong Kong that made the arrangements.
    ‘WHO BOUGHT THE TICKET’… This raised the red flag with the DEA because of the odd transaction. Cassie Sainsbury is said to have travelled to Bogota from Australia via London and then Los Angeles — A somewhat odd travel route.

    Sainsbury and her family say she was on a working holiday in Colombia … But what work was she doing?
    Her sister and mother described her as a personal trainer, but her fiancé then revealed she hasn’t worked in that field for several months. There was a story about her working for a cleaning company,but what purpose would the business have to send her to South America?
    Columbia also doesn’t offer working holiday visas.

    It is believed she wrapped the headphones in plastic before packing them into her suitcase without checking their contents. Taking anything home overseas,from another country is always a risk, but one can be lessened by a few minutes spent check items over, that there is no drugs been planted or smuggled into the luggage. In her case the detected cocaina was concealed in the plastic wrapped headphones. Se surely she would have made sure they were only headphones before wrapping them in black plastic, knowing well the suitcase would be most likely searched and inspected by airport customs security or police.

    In 2016 Goes on a Vanuatu cruise with her fiance .
    In January 2017 left Sydney to go to Canada for a working holiday, then returned back to Australia.
    April 2017 left Sydney to go to China, then leaves China to fly to Los Angeles in the United States, then onto Bogota in Columbia.
    During her arrest in Bogota with her baggage carrying 18 packages, which she believed were headphones,that also contained 5.8kg of concealed cocaine wrapped in black plastic. She was to fly to London. It is not yet known who bought her ticket in Hong Kong to fly to London from Colombia. And how long she had been travelling around the world? This is being investigated by authorities.

    COLUMBIAN Organised Crime expert Ariel Avila says foreigners are increasingly being targeted by criminal gangs to smuggle drugs from Columbia.
    ‘The cocaine market in Australia is newly prosperous, and they started to recruit young men and women as mules,” he said.
    “They pay them $10,000 – $12,000 in US dollars to take the drugs — in this case with this young Australia woman Cassie Sainsbury, it would be probably more”.
    He said Cassie’s story of being unknowingly recruited was certainly possible.
    “It could happen,” he says.
    “There’s heavy parties that last 24 hours, 48hours, in the middle of the partying you meet a guy or a girl, you form a relationship fast, you have a few days being tourists in the capital, and then comes the recruitment.
    “However the majority of the people know what they’re carrying.
    I’d say 90 per cent know what their carrying. Ten per cent might have been set up, but the vast majority know what their doing.”
    He said another possibility was the Cassie Sainsbury was a decoy, explaining that while drug cartels such as the ‘Urabenos’, Colombia’s biggest, manage the export on a large scale, there’s also a local ‘narco’,that maybe manages just one route, or maybe just one city.
    “Here, we’re talking about either a small – trafficker getting her to take a small amount over — in comparison with the tons that go by container — or it could be a large network with lots of mules,” he said.
    “Many times there are 18 or 20 mules on a plane and the narcos set one up so they distract the authorities and the rest pass.
    That could’ve happened to her. She could be a ‘false positive.
    It’s hard to know until further investigation and evidence if Cassie Sainsbury is a naïve, young Aussie tricked by a hustler in Colombia, or a hard -nosed drug smuggler, who was caught out.
    The World History of Organised Crime – Colombia – – 43:54mins

    Columbia’s Cocaine Civil War – Full Documentary – Journeyman Pictures – – 51:45mins.

    Cocaine production in Columbia – DocsOnline – – 6.38mins

    El Chapo – The Mexican Drug War – Elchapo – – 59:12mins


  10. Selling and Smuggling Cocaine – DocsOnline – – 5:25mins.

    Colombia’s Cocaine Towns – – 4:39mins

    Meet The Colombian Answer To Mexico’s El Chapo Drug Baron – Journeyman Pictures – – 21:02min


  11. “El Chapo: CEO of Crime” – – 43:07mins.

    Pablo Esobar Vs. ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Comparison / Narcos Netflix – – 12.22mins.

    Interview with Sebastian Marroquin (the son of Pablo Escobar) – – 18:40mins.

    Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lord Ep 1 – CaracoTV International – – 1:00:48mins.


  12. Killing Pablo Escobar: The True Story Part 1 (History Channel Documentary) – – 44:39min

    Killing Pablo Escobar: The True Story Part 2 (History Channel Documentary) – – 44:43.

    Escobar’s Hitman. Former drug-gang killer , now loved and loathed in Colombia – RT Documentary – – 52:13mins

    BELOW MUST SEE~ NEW 2017: Excellent Outstanding Documentary series by British Investigative Journalist Ross Kemp… These are very eye opening world documentaries. Drug Trafficking, Gangs and ISIS Terrorists…

    Ross Kemp Extreme World Series 5 Colombia (1of5) – – 44:26mins.

    Ross Kemp Extreme World Series 5 USA/Mexico (2of5) – – 43:06mins.

    Ross Kemp On Gangs – Los Angeles (L.A) (Documentary) – DOCUTUBE – – 45:01mins.

    Ross Kemp On Gangs – Orange County USA (Documentary) – DOCUTUBE – – 46:01mins.

    Ross Kemp – The Fight Against Isis (Documentary HD) – DOCUTUBE – – 1:05:05mins.



    1. Ross Kemp is well worth watching in all his shows. Most informative insight into many subjects. Good on you Ex prison officer. Can you imagine if these shows were shown in the prisons.

      Liked by 1 person

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