‘Bullsh*t’: Corbys lash claims they cost Australia thousands
IT WAS dubbed one of the biggest security operations that Brisbane Airport has ever had to deal with - to get Schapelle Corby from her temporary home in Bali to her family home near Brisbane.
Corby was deported from Bali in May last year, evading media every step of the way.
But in a new report from 9 News, the network claims to have obtained documents that prove the secret mission cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.
According to the network, the documents prove the Australian Federal Police, Border Force, Queensland Police and Brisbane Airport joined forces with private security company Tora Solutions to stealth Corby back onto Australian shores.
But the Corbys have lashed out at claims the successful operation was government-funded, insisting via social media the taxpayer "DID NOT pay one cent" to get Corby home.
Via Instagram, both Schapelle and her sister Mercedes slammed the report.
"I would like to know where you came up with this BS?" Mercedes wrote in a post shared by Schapelle to her 184,000 Insta followers.
"Taxpayers DID NOT pay one cent towards my sister's return home.
"We paid our own airline tickets and our good friend John (McLeod) from @torasolutions helped organise her safe trip back, the government/taxpayers DID NOT pay a cent! Why have you broadcast this fake news?"
Tora Solutions, headed by the now-celebrity bodyguard John McLeod, also contradicted the 9 News report.
"Tonight, several media outlets broadcast stories pertaining to the repatriation of @schapelle.corby from #bali #indonesia to #brisbane #australia in May 2017. @torasolutions would like to confirm that no tax payer funds were received or used in the return of @schapelle.corby. Further, @schapelle.corby and her sister @mercedescorby funded their flights home and the vehicles deployed for the extraction from #brisbaneairport was a private arrangement between @torasolutions and @limosoaustralia," he wrote.
Emails between AFP employees have since been seen by news.com.au, revealing officers were worried about her re-entry becoming "dangerous".
Two days before Corby landed, AFP employees said they'd received intel that 9News will have "fifteen crews operating on Sunday to cover Ms Corby's every move - including three vehicles they are calling 'chase cars' that will follow her from the airport all the way to the Gold Coast. I understand 7 has a similar set up happening".
It's believed the Corbys paid Tora Solutions at least $80,000 to pull off the complicated escape which included a number of getaway cars, flight switching and press conferences used as media decoys.
When the 39-year-old woke on May 28, 2017 to be deported from Bali, dozens of media had been informed she would be on an early Virgin Australia flight out of Denpasar.
Instead, Corby had switched flights, boarding an early Malindo flight from the same airport.
According to the documents obtained by 9 News, Schapelle and her sister were then fast-tracked through Brisbane Airport after their fellow Malindo flight passengers had been held back and banned from using their smartphones.
As Schapelle, Mercedes and a number of Tora Solutions staff sped through Brisbane Airport on motorised golf carts, another Tora Solutions guard was doing a press conference to waiting media.
Corby then skipped the Duty Free section of the airport through a secret side door normally reserved for celebrities and dignitaries before she went through a passport checkpoint and customs just like everybody else.
The 39-year-old then jumped in one of the nine cars Tora Solutions used as decoys to distract the media.
"On the streets, Queensland Police began to pull over media vehicles as Corby's convoy made illegal turns to get away," 9 News reported.
Brisbane Airport claimed it justified the mammoth mission to "keep the peace" as Schapelle returned home, 14 years after she was arrested in Bali after police found marijuana in her luggage.
The network also claims to have seen leaked emails which revealed that "some AFP officers grew concerned after the process that Corby was given special, taxpayer-funded treatment to make her getaway".
The exact dollar figure on how much it cost to get Corby home is unknown but in a statement from AFP, a spokesman said "the main priority for the AFP at Australia's major airports is the safety of the public and the airport"
"AFP officers stationed at major airports occasionally provide assistance to individuals and groups to facilitate their safe access through the airport. This is to ensure both their safety and the safety of the public.
"The provision of this assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis."
Border Force has been approached for comment.