Corby's media escape masterminded by former army officer
THE mastermind behind Schapelle Corby's clever evasion of the world's media has been revealed as Eleanor Whitman, a female ex-army officer turned security professional.
The convicted drug smuggler flew back to Brisbane from Bali early Saturday but despite a large media presence at the airport her whereabouts remain unknown.
Corby, 39, and her sister Mercedes were escorted from the plane and into a waiting convoy, who led a string of media on a wild-goose chase through southeast Queensland.
Ms Whitman, who works for Tora Solutions, the security firm run by Corby's bodyguard, John McLeod, was revealed as the brains behind the operation by her proud dad on social media, Mail Online reported.
"It's not every day that you get to pull the wool over the eyes of the Australian Media Circus, but our daughter Eleanor did it this morning," her father Paul Whitman wrote.
"I have been entirely disinterested in the comings and goings of Schapelle Corby, and even less in the media reporting of it until today.
"Why today? Because our daughter Eleanor has been in command of the security arrangements for Corby's arrival in Australia."
According to her dad's post, which has since been removed, Ms Whitman has spent weeks planning Corby's escape and it was Ms Whitman who addressed the cameras at Brisbane airport to deliver a statement on behalf of the family.
Corby's evasion of the media involved a convoy of nine black vans. The convoy, accompanied by a significant security presence, left Brisbane airport and headed south along Brisbane's Gateway Motorway before suddenly splitting into different directions.
One part headed to the up-market Sofitel hotel in Brisbane's CBD, where it's believed Corby was whisked from the basement to a suite.
Her security planners also managed to foil the Australian media's plan to travel home with her on the same flight by making an 11th hour switch from Virgin to Malindo, where she was seen sitting in business class and wearing a headscarf in an apparent attempt to hide her identity.