Cassandra Sainsbury’s final moments of freedom have been documented in CCTV footage obtained by 9 News.
The video, which shows 22-year-old Sainsbury casually stroll to the immigration counter before being taken away by officials, represents the moment Sainsbury’s freedom was snatched by allegations of drug smuggling.
The Adelaide woman was arrested on April 12 at Bogota’s El Dorado airport in Colombia after being found with almost 6kg of cocaine hidden inside headphone boxes.
On Wednesday, The Australian reported the The US Drug Enforcement Agency tipped off Colombian authorities with suspicions that the 22-year-old could be carrying drugs. A last-minute purchase of a plane ticket in Hong Kong for the Adelaide woman to travel to Colombia via London was a red flag, and it’s believed US authorities may have forwarded her passport details to Colombian police as early as April 5, an entire week before she was arrested.
Reports – and now the CCTV footage – suggest Ms Sainsbury had already checked in her suitcase and was about to clear the final immigration check when she was stopped.
From there, the former personal trainer was photographed in front of the boxes found with cocaine and taken into custody.
In an interview with 9 News, Ms Sainsbury’s lawyer Orlando Herran said the former personal trainer’s mental state is suffering after spending three weeks behind bars in El Buen Pastor, one of the largest women’s jails in the country.
“I can see that she’s very affected psychologically. She [is] permanently crying, very sad,” Mr Herran said.
He added that because of this, he intends to encourage the young Australian to plead guilty so as to make an arrangement for Ms Sainsbury to serve her time back home in Australia.
However, the judge presiding over the case denies an arrangement is possible, saying if you commit the crime in Colombia, you serve the time in Colombia.
For the full video, visit 9 News here.