Cassandra Sainsbury reportedly asks government for legal aid

Accused drug mule Cassandra Sainsbury has reportedly asked the Australian government to help cover her legal costs as she fights drug smuggling charges in Colombia.

Ms Sainsbury was detained at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport on April 12 after 5.8 kilograms of cocaine was allegedly found hidden inside 18 headphone boxes in her suitcase.

Colombian police released this photo of Cassandra Sainsbury with the alleged drugs. Photo: AP

Her Bogota lawyer Orlando Herran has told News Corp that the 22-year-old South Australian applied for financial assistance last week.

"They are looking for state funds in Australia for the legal costs, so she was signing a form for that, to put before the government there," Mr Herran said.

Ms Sainsbury arrived in Colombia on April 3, with reports suggesting US authorities might have forwarded her passport details to Colombian police as early as April 5, warning she might try to smuggle drugs.

Police arrested her inside El Dorado International Airport as she prepared to board a flight to London.