The sex work is a red herring, but Cassie Sainsbury really is Schapelle Corby 2.0

When news about Cassie Sainsbury’s arrest in Colombia for drug trafficking first attracted media attention, social media laughingly tagged her “Corby 2.0”. Though many parallels can be drawn, it was the attention-seeking nature of her and her family’s pleas for assistance that most starkly resembled Schapelle and her family back in 2004. But last night, “Corby 2.0” went from being a joke to reality when Channel 9’s 60 Minutes  and Channel 7’s Sunday Night went head to head with “exposes” on the mysterious, inconsistent and questionable stories around how Cassie ended up with 5.8kgs of cocaine in her luggage at El Dorado Airport in Bogota.

Both stories had interesting nuggets of information. On Sunday Night, her father revealed that she had mentioned a trip to Bogota back in January, which he advised against. There is no communication between members of her family: her fiance has not communicated with her mother and sister, and nobody has contacted her father. Colombian officials and experts on their drug trade provided insight into her situation and the consequences she may now be facing. However, what is consuming the most media attention and discussion today is the revelation that Cassie worked as a sex worker prior to her excursion around the globe to Colombia.

Continue reading “The sex work is a red herring, but Cassie Sainsbury really is Schapelle Corby 2.0”

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The sex work is a red herring, but Cassie Sainsbury really is Schapelle Corby 2.0

Cassie Sainsbury: the plot thickens

As expected, Cassie’s Sainsbury’s family publicising her situation has fueled media pursuit of the story. The strangeness of their version of events, with the inconsistencies and the odd procurement of headphones as gifts that turned out to have 5.8kgs of cocaine in them, along with Cassie’s claim of innocence provide much scope for revelation.

What is the new information?

Cassie’s trip was apparently not confined to Colombia. According to her Instagram she flew first to China, then Los Angeles, then on to Bogota, over the space of a couple of weeks. She posted about an all expenses paid trip that was great, being mostly holiday with very little work.

Information obtained by the media indicates her return trip from Bogota on 11 April was to London, France, Hong Kong and then home. Based on what her sister has said about picking her up from the airport in Adelaide on Saturday, 15 April, it does not appear she intended to spend much time in any of those destinations.

Continue reading “Cassie Sainsbury: the plot thickens”

Cassie Sainsbury: the plot thickens

Cassie Sainsbury: just another drug mule?

Cassie Sainsbury was arrested at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia on 11 April 2017, about to board her flight back to Adelaide, Australia. Officials allegedly found 5.8kgs of cocaine concealed in packaged headphones. Cassie’s family claim she was set up.

Some background

Professional drug traffickers are skilled and successful at moving their drugs around the world. They are organised and efficient, minimizing their risk and maximizing their opportunities. To do this, they leave as little to chance as possible by retaining as much control as possible over their drugs and any person with whom they are entrusted.

Traffickers are therefore highly, highly unlikely to dupe unsuspecting tourists into becoming unwitting mules by planting drugs on them. What if the person noticed the extra weight (especially given that most international travelers are right on the limit)? What if the person discovered the drugs and threw them out or contacted police? How would they retrieve them at the other end? No, the unaware unsuspecting completely innocent tourist dupe is really just an urban legend.

Continue reading “Cassie Sainsbury: just another drug mule?”

Cassie Sainsbury: just another drug mule?

Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above

In the early hours of tomorrow morning it will be a year since Indonesia executed Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who were shot by firing squad along with six other men around 12:30am on 29 April 2015.

Yesterday Indonesian authorities transferred out of Kerobokan the two men Myuran had hand-picked to continue his art, printing and computer rehabilitation programs. Continue reading “Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above”

Myuran and Andrew’s Legacy: Rising Above

War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions

Like many people of my age (30s) with a large social acquaintance circle comprising a range of demographics, I have been exposed to a broad array of drug use and problems over the last decade or so, and I’m conscious of the ongoing discussions in society about the drugs issue.

I don’t support the “war on drugs” because I don’t think it works. There hasn’t been a reduction in illicit drug use or problems as a result of the weighty focus on law enforcement and it predominantly punishes individuals and small time or middle rung dealers while doing very little to combat manufacturers and distributors. An individual caught with ice ends up with a criminal conviction that impacts on future employment and relationships, only pushing them towards the drug again, while a supplier evades detection and, if caught, has the finances to hire legal expertise to limit conviction and sentencing, then returns to the same life they had beforehand. Ultimately,  Continue reading “War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions”

War on drugs: dogma rather than real solutions

Crime & Punishment: Australia’s values are collateral damage alongside the Bali 9 duo if we don’t stand firm on the death penalty

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran’s executions in Indonesia last week have naturally led to a debate about the AFPs involvement in the original arrest of the Bali 9 and what position should be taken in future. Much of this debate has centred around the acceptability in the context of the specific circumstances. The Bali 9 were bringing heroin to Australia, which most Australians find repugnant and which would potentially have led to the deaths of a number of Australians (plus the misery of many more). The AFP’s choice to provide information to the Indonesian National Police (INP) is then referenced to that, making it easier to excuse, tolerate or even endorse. However, the AFP’s actions should be seen independently of the Bali 9’s and more weight should be given to Australia’s stance on the death penalty.
Continue reading “Crime & Punishment: Australia’s values are collateral damage alongside the Bali 9 duo if we don’t stand firm on the death penalty”

Crime & Punishment: Australia’s values are collateral damage alongside the Bali 9 duo if we don’t stand firm on the death penalty