Cassie Sainsbury: Proof of innocence in phone but she can’t remember code

By @chelean on
Cassandra Sainsbury
Cassandra Sainsbury, an Australian, is seen in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia, April 12, 2017. Picture Taken April 12, 2017. Colombian Police/Handout via Reuters

Cassie Sainsbury claimed she has evidence that she was blackmailed, but that evidence was saved in a locked mobile phone. The 22-year-old accused cocaine smuggler also denied that she was a prostitute at a Sydney brothel.

Talking with “60 Minutes” reporter Liam Bartlett from El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sainsbury reiterated her claim that she was just blackmailed into smuggling drugs. She said she accepted a courier job that promised to give her $10,000. She thought she would be carrying documents for her unknown employers, who flew her to Colombia.

However, instead of documents, she was told by a man who introduced himself as Angelo that she would be carrying drugs. She protested that she did not want to do that, but Angelo threatened to kill her family. He apparently provided her with surveillance footage of her mother Lisa Evans, sister Kayla and her fiancé Scott Broadbridge from Adelaide. The footage was sent to her as photos on the WhatsApp phone app.

The photos could perhaps save her from a possible 21 years minimum in prison, but the problem was she couldn’t remember the pattern code of the app. Her excuse seemed dubious and convenient. Bartlett was incredulous at the alibi, saying he didn’t know a single millennial who has forgotten their own phone password.

“I’m sure if you were in prison for five months, you would forget it,” she explained, insisting she had been trying to remember it. “If I knew the password and I told my lawyer, I’d give it. But that’s all there is. If I can’t remember, I got nothing to give them.”

Angelo allegedly packed her suitcase for her and she didn’t know the drugs were hidden in headphone boxes. She wasn’t allowed to look or touch the bag.

Sainsbury, who has been dubbed “Cocaine Cassie” by the media, also refuted reports that she worked as a prostitute at Club 220 Gentleman’s Club in western Sydney. According to a Nine News investigation, she was working under the name of “Claudia” months before she flew to Bogota and got arrested for carrying 5.8 kg of cocaine.

“I did some reception there but I wasn’t a prostitute,” she said. “For me, obviously a lot of people have had a lot of digs at me while I’ve been in prison because I can’t defend myself,” she added, refusing to discuss her work at the brothel further because it had in some way connected to her drug charges.

Sainsbury is waiting for her trial, which is expected to begin in six months. Her six-year plea deal with prosecutors was previously rejected by a judge after she maintained that she was blackmailed into smuggling cocaine.