Cassie Sainsbury's fundraising page on
Cassie Sainsbury's fundraising page on

Cassie Sainsbury is looking at spending 25 years in Colombia’s most notorious prison for women if found guilty. The 22-year-old from Adelaide was arrested on April 12 after she was allegedly caught with 5.8kg of cocaine in her suitcase at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogota.

She was detained for drug trafficking mere minutes before she was due to board a plane to Australia. She was denied bail and is currently jailed at the El Buen Pastor prison for women.

According to her family, Cassie was set up. Cassie, who planned to marry her fiancé in February next year, apparently wanted to buy headphones as gifts for her bridal party. Her mum Lisa Evans said that a man who offered to be her translator claimed to know someone who could give her a good discount. She agreed, and the man came to her hotel to give her the 15 pairs of headphones that were individually wrapped.

“And this is where the naïve bit comes in. She didn’t even rip it open to make sure it was headphones in there,” Evans told the “Kyle & Jackie O” radio show on KIIS on Monday. The individually wrapped packages turned out to be cocaine and not headphones.

Her family acknowledged that Cassie couldn’t plead not guilty anymore because having the cocaine in her possession automatically made her guilty. Evans said the family have hired a lawyer who advised her to plead guilty to avoid a potential jail sentence of up to 25 years. The minimum sentence is six years but they hope to have it reduced to four if she provides information about the man who gave her the drugs.

Cassie arrived in the South American country on April 3 for a working holiday. Her older sister Khala told the Advertiser that she was supposed to pick Cassie up from Adelaide Airport on Easter Saturday but instead woke to the terrible news on Good Friday morning. Khala has launched fundraising on the site in a bid to raise $15,000 for her sister’s legal fees.

“Our hearts break because we know she is innocent but stands little chance of proving it in such a corrupt country,” Khala wrote. “We are currently facing expensive legal fees and trying to support Cassie as much as we can, but is hard as we have little money.”

According to Khala, Cassie is a volunteer for the SA Country Fire Service, which denied that the personal trainer is an active member. Alison Martin, a senior media officer at CFS, said Cassie has not been a volunteer for three years, asking that any mention of the CFS be taken down.

The fundraising page has been inundated with negative comments from people who don’t believe Cassie’s alibi. According to the comments, her story doesn’t make sense and her family members provided contradictory points.

Khala apparently told the Daily Mail that Cassie was in Colombia to “at least in part promote her personal training business,” but Cassie’s fiancé Scotty Broadbridge said she had not been working as a personal trainer for six months. “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.”