Just months before her arrest, accused Australian drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury made a number of posts to her social media account indicating a “life-changing” event and her excitement about travelling.
Seven News has confirmed the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the US tipped off police in Colombia that Ms Sainsbury was allegedly carrying almost 6kg of cocaine in her suitcase when she was arrested on April 11.
New details have been coming to light since her arrest including her failed business venture leaving her in debt.
Now a range of cryptic social media posts have been found that show the 22-year-old was excited about a “life-changing” event.
“50 days until I make the biggest move I’ve yet to do ... 50 days until everything changes,” Ms Sainsbury wrote on Instagram in a now deleted post.
She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.
On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: “Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can’t wait to leave so much baggage behind.”
Both Instagram posts contain hashtags indicating travel or relocation to Sydney, possibly around March 1 (when the 50 day count down ended).
Her social media trail places her in China later that month and in the US in early April.
On April 3, Ms Sainsbury took to Instagram from Los Angeles airport.
“LAX — so busy yet, so organised. On another note. Going from China’s lovely 27 degree weather to LA’s 7 degree weather is killing me,” she wrote.
She appears to have caught a connecting flight to Bogota from LA because authorities record her as having arrived in Colombia on the same day — April 3.
On April 8, she posted a photograph from Bogota along with the comment: “Can’t complain about an all expenses paid work trip, in which (sic) is mainly holiday very little work. It’s the simple things that are the true beauty in the world. Mother Nature has been putting on quite the show for me over here.”
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Ms Sainsbury’s travels had previously taken her to China, Canada and Vanuatu before she visited Bogota.
While her family insists she was on a working holiday, her fiancé tells a different story.
Scotty Broadbridge took to the now deleted GoFundMe account to explain Ms Sainsbury hadn’t been working for at least six months before her arrest.
“Although Cassie is a PT [personal trainer], she is not currently personal training and hasn’t been for 6 months. I don’t know why that was mentioned at all,” Mr Broadbridge wrote.
“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.”
Ms Sainsbury was moments from arriving at Gate 32 at Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport when narcotics police swooped on a tip-off from the DEA.
Luggage tags show she had successfully checked in to board Flight AV120 from Bogota to London’s Heathrow Airport, flying with Avianca Airways.
Police allegedly found 5.8kg of cocaine wrapped in black plastic and stuffed into 15 boxes of headphones.
She claimed to have had no knowledge prior to her arrest that the packages contained cocaine.
Ms Sainsbury is awaiting trial in Bogota’s most notorious women’s prison, El Buen Pastor on drug trafficking charges.
While she faces up to 25 years if convicted, her lawyer, Orlando Herran, has advised the 22-year-old to plead guilty in an attempt to lessen the sentence.
The confession could result in her serving a four-year term of two years in Bogota and the remaining two years back to Australia in home detention.
Should she decide to fight the charge it would take at least two years to have the matter heard and may lead to a 20-year sentence.
Mr Herran believes she’s innocent.
“I’m thinking that Cassandra was used as a ‘mule’ ... the police says ‘I’m sorry, this is drugs ... this is your baggage ... you are guilty’,” he said.
“(It is) very sad, very sad .. she is crying permanently.”