Cassie Sainsbury has hinted at ‘links’ between the Sydney brothel where she allegedly worked as a prostitute and the international drug syndicate for which she is accused of smuggling cocaine.
Speaking to 60 Minutes on Sunday evening, Sainsbury, 22, denied working as a prostitute for Club 220 in Penrith, insisting she was employed as a receptionist who would fly in from Adelaide to work shifts.
Reports shortly after her arrest at an airport in Bogota, Colombia, in April suggested she was coerced into joining the crime ring after applying for a job online, but revelations in her first tell-all interview since suggest that was not the case.
‘Right now with the brothel there isn’t a lot I can discuss, because everything that happened before and here are all linked in my case,’ she revealed.
Club 220 immediately hung up when approached for comment by Daily Mail Australia.
Cassie Sainsbury claims there are ‘links’ between the Sydney brothel where she allegedly worked as a prostitute and the international drug syndicate she is accused of smuggling cocaine for
‘Right now with the brothel there isn’t a lot I can discuss, because everything that happened before and here are all linked in my case,’ she revealed
Sainsbury constantly said she was unable to elaborate on her latest claim with any detail because her defence case is ongoing, but denied her family were the party behind her alleged involvement in the international drug-smuggling syndicate.
‘Not know-know, but sort of know, if that makes sense,’ Sainsbury said when asked if she knew the person or persons that linked her past with her Colombian arrest.
She refused to comment on whether it was someone from the Sydney brothel where she worked, but said it was ‘linked’.
Sainsbury denied reports that she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Sydney, instead claiming she was a fly-in fly-out receptionist (pictured: Sainsbury’s alleged profile picture on the brothel’s website)
She refused to comment on whether it was someone from the Sydney brothel where she worked, but said it was ‘linked’
Upon her arrival in the country, Sainsbury says she met a man known only to her as ‘Angelo’, who she did not spend much time with because she ‘didn’t feel comfortable’ in his presence
Sainsbury also extraordinarily claimed she cannot supply evidence proving her innocence because she has forgotten her phone password.
Sainsbury, who was arrested after 5.9kg of cocaine was found inside her suitcase, made the astonishing claim during a tell-all interview from behind bars.
A fragile and exhausted Sainsbury told 60 Minutes she was ordered to traffick cocaine by the Colombian mafia after they threatened her family.
She claimed the drug ring sent her WhatsApp images and texts of her family and fiance – saying her loved ones would be killed if she failed to obey their orders.
But in a sensational twist, Sainsbury said she cannot show the evidence – that could potentially clear her name – to prosecutors because she has forgotten the password to her own phone.
‘I received a nasty phone call saying “what are you doing?” I was told my mum, my sister and my partner would be killed,’ Sainsbury told 60 Minutes.
‘I found myself in a bad situation and I couldn’t find a way out. I just went with what I was told to do,’ she said
After ‘Angelo’ learned she was trying to flee the country, Sainsbury alleges he showed her surveillance images of her mother, sister and partner (pictured left) in Adelaide, and said he would kill them if she did not follow his orders
Sainsbury says she initially believed she was being paid $10,000 to work as an international courier, and didn’t consider the situation to be suspicious until her itinerary changed from flying to Colombia instead of London.
She says she does not know the person who organised her travel, or if the name on her ticket belongs to a real person. She claims she never knew of the drug-smuggling operation, instead thought she was ‘transporting documents’.
Upon her arrival in the South American country, Sainsbury says she met a man known only to her as ‘Angelo’, who she did not spend much time with because she ‘didn’t feel comfortable’ in his presence.
‘I found myself in a bad situation and I couldn’t find a way out. I just went with what I was told to do,’ she said.
After ‘Angelo’ learned she was trying to flee the country, Sainsbury alleges he showed her surveillance images of her mother, sister and partner in Adelaide, and said he would kill them if she did not follow his orders.
‘That hit home quite hard. He said he had people working for him everywhere.’
Sainsbury was arrested in April when narcotics police found 5.9 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage, hidden in headphone packets
Sainsbury astonishingly claims the key to her escaping a minimum 21 years and four months in jail lies on her mobile phone – a device to which she has forgotten her passcode.
The threatening images, text messages and emails that will see her avoid spending more than two decades in her Bogota prison are inaccessible because the unique symbol that unlocks the phone has left her mind.
‘I haven’t used the pattern. I’m not going to remember. I’m sure if you were in prison you’d forget,’ she said.
She denied reports that she worked as a prostitute at a brothel in Sydney, instead claiming she was a fly-in fly-out receptionist.
‘I’m not a prostitute. There was some work but it wasn’t prostitution. I know it’s a brothel but that doesn’t necessarily make me a prostitute,’ Sainsbury said.
Instead she says the establishment, Club 220 in Penrith, were ‘struggling’ to find people to work behind the desk and were happy to have her fly in and out of the state.
She did, however, suggest there are ‘links’ between the brothel and her arrest, claiming an associate maybe have been the reason for her involvement in the crime syndicate.
A new preview from the ‘tell-all interview’ with 60 Minutes has shown Sainsbury defending herself for the first time
Images of Sainsbury smiling and appearing calm as she is arrested by customs staff at Bogota Airport led people to believe she did not understand the gravity of her situation, something she denies.
‘I was extremely worried. When I was first arrested it didn’t hit me. It hit me when I got back to the police station, it was like hitting a brick wall,’ she said.
Her story, her family’s explanation and her partner’s reasoning for her presence in the foreign country and involvement in the drug-smuggling operation constantly have changed, many of which she has admitted were lies.
‘I didn’t know if I could talk about what happened. If I spoke about what happened I’d be in a lot of trouble.’
‘Until people know completely what happened they shouldn’t be forming opinions,’ Sainsbury told 60 Minutes
The 22-year-old was dubbed ‘Cocaine Cassie’ after narcotics police alleged they had found 5.9 kilograms of the drug in her luggage in April this year.
Her story so far has only been told in media snippets, with her parents painting a picture of the kind-hearted ‘girl next door’, former colleagues claiming her past was as a sex worker, her fiance Scott Broadbridge sharing their relationship woes and her Uncle Neil damning her as guilty on national television.
Sainsbury was moments away from a sentence reduction to six years last month when she claimed she carried the drugs because her family had been threatened by an anonymous drug cartel, The Australian reported at the time.
The explosive claim, previously unheard by Colombian prosecutors, saw her bargain thrown out the window as they were at odds with her initial statement.
She now faces a maximum of 30 years behind bars, and her indictment hearing has been scheduled for September 26.