21/05/2017 6:58 PM AEST | Updated 22/05/2017 10:48 AM AEST

Cassie Sainsbury Claims She Was 'Forced' To Act As Drug Mule

The 22-year-old claims a drug syndicate threatened to hurt her family.

Accused cocaine trafficker Cassie Sainsbury now claims she was forced to act as a drug mule after an international drug syndicate threatened to hurt her family, according to her lawyers.

The new claims appear to contradict her original story, in which the 22-year-old claimed she was unknowingly set up by a man who gave her a box of 15 headphones as gifts for her bridal party, but instead contained kilograms of cocaine.

According to a statement of facts lodged to the Federal Court of Australia by the 22-year-old's lawyers, Cassie "has fallen victim to an international drug trafficking syndicate" which "threatened her life and the life of her family".

The statement was provided as part of an injunction hearing, in which lawyers attempted to halt the airing of an interview with Sainsbury's fiance Scott Broadbridge on Seven's Sunday Night.

Lawyer Orlando Herran told Nine's 60 Minutes that she had fallen on hard times financially after the closure of her gym business, and responded to an advertisement on Craigslist.

The offer was for a trip to London, and a cash payment, but the destination was changed to Bogata, where she and her family were threatened if she didn't go through with the plan.

"If you don't fly, then we will kill your family or you," Herran said, relaying the conversation.

Sainsbury remains confined to the Bogata womens' prison. If convicted, she faces a minimum jail term of 21 years and four months. However her lawyer Orlando Herran says this is nothing more than "a silly mistake".

These latest details have emerged more than five weeks after her arrest at Bogota's El Dorado Airport for the possession of 5.8 kilograms of cocaine.

Two exclusive interviews aired on Sunday night, on Seven and Channel Nine's 60 Minutes.

It was reported --

  • Fiance Scott Broadbridge said Sainsbury had been working for a cleaning company owned by her uncle;
  • The uncle, Neil Sainsbury, denied this had ever taken place;
  • Broadbridge said the subsequent owners of the cleaning business had sent Sainsbury on trips abroad and paid her $1800 a week cash;
  • Seven's Sunday Night could not find any record of these new owners;
  • "I believe she was set up as a drug mule without her knowledge," Broadbridge told the program;
  • Broadbridge had to flee Colombia, under investigation himself after a former partner of his had been accused of drug dealing, Seven reported;
  • Meanwhile on Nine's 60 Minutes, it was reported Sainsbury had been acting as a sex worker at a Sydney brothel last year;
  • A former colleague said Sainbury had worked there for five months, and told them her mother had died of MS, even taking up a collection for her funeral costs;
  • Sainsbury's mother Lisa said she'd had limited contact with fiance Broadbridge since the arrest: "I have suspicions about a lot of people ... Scott has been indifferent towards us," she said.

Channel Nine
Ms Sainsbury's Mum, Lisa, and sister, Khala, attempted to visit the accused in prison.

Sainsbury's mother and sister, filmed visiting Colombia, maintain her innocence.

"It goes against everything she stands for and I believe she's 100 percent innocent and I always will," mother Lisa said.

"She's scared s**tless, she thinks she's running out of time."

Sainsbury remains behind bars in El Buen Pastor prison and has reportedly requested to be placed in a Witness Protection Program during the ongoing investigations.