Colombian authorities became suspicious of Adelaide woman Cassie Sainsbury, after they were tipped off about the unusual circumstances surrounding the purchase of her plane ticket.
According to reports, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency alerted Colombia’s anti-narcotic’s police when an unknown person in Hong Kong used cash to secure a last-minute flight for a trip from Australia to Bogota via London.
According to Bogota airport’s narcotics chief Commander Rodrigo Soler, this was just one of several red flags that led the 22-year-old’s arrest at El Dorado International Airport on April 11, where 5.8kg of cocaine was allegedly discovered in her suitcase.
“We found her because of an alert from the DEA,” Commander Soler told News Corp.
“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,” he continued, adding that the woman had cleared security and checked her bag 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’.”
According to Commander Soler, the DEA alerts Colombia’s national police several times a month regarding suspected drug mules.
Sainsbury’s family insists she is innocent and was set up by a Colombian man she met after arriving in the country during a working holiday
Her mother claims her daughter bought the headphones from him to give to family and friends at her upcoming wedding, although she admits she was “naïve” in not checking the content of the packages before boarding the flight.
Sainsbury remains at El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota were she faces up to 25 years behind bars.
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