Aussie's arrest in Colombia aims light on foreign drug mules

Cassandra Sainsbury

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested April 12 at Bogota's global airport after an X-ray machine detected the cocaine hidden in 18 different packages stashed in her luggage.

"Cassie rang him when she was arrested and said she'd been arrested and he automatically said, "Oh, you've been arrested", she he hung up and the phone was destroyed", Ms Evans said.

Cassie is now weighing up whether or not she should plead guilty to the drug smuggling charges and hope to lessen a possible 25 year sentence, according to her mum.

Ms Sainsbury's mother, Lisa Evans, claimed her daughter was the "naive" victim of a Colombian man she had befriended during her trip.

Ms Sainsbury was arrested on April 12 after an X-ray machine detected the cocaine hidden in her luggage.

"The anger inside of me. that someone could do this to an innocent girl".

"It's so hard - myself and mum just can't up and leave, I've got four kids and flights are so expensive without even looking at accommodation".

An online campaign, which has raised more than $2,000, has been set up by the family to help raise money to pay for legal costs.

Her sister, Khala Sainsbury, says the 22-year-old personal trainer and volunteer firefighter is facing up to 25 years in jail "for a crime she did not commit".

"Cassie was planning her upcoming wedding to the love if her life, she has her full life ahead of her, and now it's all put on the line because of this", she wrote.

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"Unfortunately it's very easy for tourists to get targeted, especially in Colombia".

He said she helped manage a commercial cleaning business with national and global clients.

"She was with somebody she had met that could speak English and she was sightseeing, he was showing her around".

Just minutes before boarding the flight home everything turned upside down, and Cassandra is now awaiting trial in Colombia's largest women's prison - El Buen Pastor.

Cassandra Sainsbury is now in Colombia's most notorious women's prison.

"She did that and got them handed to her Wednesday morning before she left, she just put them straight into her suitcase".

The storyline is one travellers are warned against every year: trusting strangers who only want to use you as a drug mule.

Talking to 9 News, sister Khala Sainsbury explained how Cassie came into possession of fifteen pairs of headphones, which were later found to contain the 5.8kg of cocaine.

Her family says she was due to continue on her working holiday to make presentations in London, France and Hong Kong.

The page had raised nearly $2500 on Monday morning.

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