Local News

Red flag: What alerted authorities to the cocaine in Cassie Sainbury’s suitcase

The young woman from Adelaide remains in custody in Colombia. Colombian police were tipped off by the US.

By Lorna Gray
Speculation over the cocaine found in the suitcase of Cassie Sainsbury is mounting after reports today suggest the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) alerted Colombian authorities to their suspicions.
Cassie Sainsbury had been in China and Los Angeles in the days before her arrest in Colombia and drew the attention of the DEA when her plane ticket home to Australia via London was reportedly purchased last minute by an 'unknown party' in Hong Kong.
"We found her because of an alert from the DEA," the airport's head of narcotics, Commander Rodrigo Soler, told News Corp Australia.
The cocaine found in Cassie's case. Source: 7 News.
Cassie had reportedly cleared security at El Dorado International Airport and was just about to board her plane when she was arrested.
Colonel Jorge Triana, head of anti-narcotics police at the airport was sceptical about her version of events:
"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'."
"Her explanation is not credible," Colonel Triana continued. "Everyone we catch says they didn't know it was in their luggage, but they know what they were doing."
Cassie with her mum. Source: Facebook.
Yesterday, pictures emerged of the 22-year-old standing next to the 18 bags of cocaine found concealed in her luggage.
Both Cassie and her family maintain her innocence and say she's been set up. She alleges she bought headphones for her bridal party that turned out to be 5.8 kilograms of cocaine.
Cassie was planning a wedding next February to her fiancé Scott Broadbridge, 23.
Cassie with fiancé Scott Broadbridge. Source: Facebook.
Cassie remains in notoriously overcrowded El Buen Pastor Prison which is home to more than 50,000 criminals.
Her lawyers have advised her family not to make any more public comments about her situation, fearing this could make her a target.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing assistance to an Australian woman arrested in Colombia in accordance with the Consular Services Charter.

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