TODAY |

'Thanks to the government of Indonesia' - Bali Nine mule Renae Lawrence breaks silence in Brisbane

Freed Bali Nine drug smuggler Renae Lawrence has had a chaotic return to Australia, having to dodge dozens of reporters, photographers and camera crews at Brisbane Airport.

After flying through the night from Indonesia following her release from a Bali jail, Lawrence arrived on home soil shortly before 6am AEDT to front the waiting media scrum.

"We don't want to comment. We've got nothing to say. Please, just leave us," her mother Bev Waterman told reporters soon after she and her daughter disembarked their plane and tried to make their way to the customs area.

With her head down, trying to avoid the glare of the cameras, Lawrence exited the arrivals hall and made her way quickly toward a transfer bus bound for Brisbane's domestic terminal where she's expected to board a flight to her hometown of Newcastle later this morning.

Lawrence appeared teary and overwhelmed as she was pursued and surrounded by journalists asking for comment.

But later, when Lawrence was again asked if she had anything to say she spoke in Indonesian, which translated as: "Thanks to the government of Indonesia, that's it."

The Australian was shrouded in security as she emerged from Bangli Prison. Source: Reuters

Her father recently told of his daughter's fear her return would spark a media frenzy like the one that unfolded when Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby returned home.

Fellow passengers on her return Virgin flight from Bali were aware they had a notorious Australian passenger for company.

"She's coming," one traveller told the waiting reporters as he walked out of the arrivals door.

Released from a Bali prison after serving 13 years

The heroin mule was released from a Bali prison after serving 13 years for her role in a plot to import more than eight kilograms of the drug to Australia.

The 41-year-old was freed yesterday, and may be the only member of the group to be released. Source: Breakfast

Lawrence was only in Brisbane a brief time before boarding a flight to her home town of Newcastle on Thursday morning, where police may be waiting to rearrest her over a high-speed car chase.

Last night, the drug smuggler remained silent and kept her head down as she jostled her way through a media pack into a waiting car after walking out the front door of Bali's Bangli Prison yesterday afternoon.

She told an Australian outlet she didn't want to speak but said she was "positive" about returning to life outside freedom, though unsure.

Later, the 41-year-old, wearing sun glasses, was surrounded by heavily armed mobile brigade police and did not respond to questions shouted at her by journalists as she emerged from Bangli Prison.

The black SUV with tinted windows took her to Denpasar airport where she was escorted through a VIP entrance before her flight back to Australia with her mother Bev Waterman and stepbrother Allan Waterman.

She walked free on November 21 after spending 13 years locked up. Source: Associated Press

2.7 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body

Lawrence was arrested at Denpasar airport in April 2005 with 2.7 kilograms of heroin strapped to her body as part of a bid to smuggle a total of eight kilograms of heroin into Australia.

The two ringleaders, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in 2015, while Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen died from cancer in May this year serving a life sentence.

The other members - Scott Rush, Michael Czugaj, Martin Stephens, Matthew Norman and Si Yi Chen - are all serving life sentences.

Lawrence's original life sentence was reduced to 20 years on appeal and has been reduced for good behaviour and other remissions.

She completed a successful smuggling trip in 2004 for Chan who she said had threatened to kill her family if she told anyone.

Lawrence told her trial Chan made the same threats before their fateful plot the following year.

A local doctor who visits Bangli prison is reported to have prescribed anti- depressants to help Lawrence cope with anxiety before her long-awaited chance for a new start in life.

When she returns, the former panel beater from Newcastle is facing two arrest warrants from NSW police that have been outstanding since 2005.

One warrant alleges she was involved in a high-speed chase in a stolen car.

But NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has indicated a deal with her lawyers was more likely than handcuffs on the tarmac when she flies in.