Woman caught trying to fly to London with £1m of cocaine in her suitcase

Patrick Grafton-Green
Cassandra Sainsbury, who faces more than 20 years in prison if she is found guilty: EPA

An Australian woman faces more than 20 years in prison after she was caught allegedly trying to smuggle £1,000,000 of cocaine from Colombia to London.

Cassandra Sainsbury, 22, was arrested last month at Bogota’s international airport when an X-ray machine detected the cocaine hidden in 18 separate packages stashed in her luggage.

The young woman's family claims she was set up, and had been on a working holiday to South American to promote her personal training business.

They say she thought the cocaine packs - which contained almost 6kg of the drug - were pre-wrapped headphones which were going to be handed out as gifts at her upcoming wedding.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested last month at Bogota Aiport (EPA)

Her sister Khala Sainsbury said in an online post: "Our hearts break, because we know she is innocent, but stands little chance of proving it in such a corrupt country.”

Lt Col Jorge Triana, head of the anti-narcotics police at Bogota's international airport, said Sainsbury's claims that she was deceived are probably untrue.

She said: "Everyone who is caught says exactly the same thing.

Sainsbury's family say she has been set up (EPA)

"But they know what they're doing."

She added that police have arrested 19 foreign drug mules this year alone.

Sainsbury, who was arrested on April 12, has been transferred to a women's penitentiary in Bogota.