Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted 24 parcels of cocaine concealed in 12 lawn mower tyres imported through the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) by a Brazilian returnee, Okechukwu Francis Amaechi.
Amaechi had just finished serving a jail term for drug trafficking in the South American country.
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Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday in Abuja, said the 45-year-old ex-convict from Idemili South LGA, Anambra State, was arrested at the Port Harcourt airport on Saturday May 7, upon his arrival from Brazil via Doha onboard Qatar Airline flight QR1433.
Babafemi said, “Preliminary investigation revealed that Okechukwu who was arrested and convicted in Brazil for drug offences completed serving his jail sentence in March, 2022, after which he decided to return to Nigeria with three new lawn mowers where he concealed 24 parcels of cocaine weighing 4.56kg.
“Curiously, each parcel concealed in the tyres of the lawn mowers bore some unique inscriptions which were believed to be means of identification of the owners of the drug.
“The two parcels in one of the tyres of the first lawn mower bore ‘O LORD’ and ‘HAVE MERCY’.
“The parcels in one of the tyres of the second mower bore the inscription ‘IN GOD’ and ‘WE TRUST’, while the third mower had ‘IJIOMA’ and ‘186.6’ inscribed on them.”
He said Okechukwu claimed that one of his church members gave him the lawn mowers to deliver to his brother in Port Harcourt.
In other operations across Zamfara, Kogi, Rivers, Kaduna and Kano states, no fewer than 37,876 tablets of pharmaceutical opioids, especially tramadol; 10,884 bottles of codeine and 825.016kg of cannabis sativa were recovered during raids in the past week.