The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted 24 parcels of cocaine concealed in 12 tyres of lawnmowers imported into the country through the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA).
Mr Femi Babafemi, NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, said this in a statement on Sunday, May 22, in Abuja.
Babafemi said that a Brazilian returnee, Okechukwu Francis Amaechi, who has just finished serving his jail term for drug trafficking in the South American country, was arrested.
He said that the 45-year-old ex-convict was from Idemili South LGA, Anambra State; and was also arrested at the Port Harcourt Airport on Saturday, May 7. This was upon his arrival from Brazil via Doha onboard Qatar Airline flight QR1433.
Babafemi also said that preliminary investigations revealed that Okechukwu, who was arrested and convicted in Brazil for drug offences, completed his jail term in March.
The NDLEA also added that Okechukwu then decided to return to Nigeria with three new lawnmowers; in which he likewise concealed 24 parcels of cocaine weighing 4.56kg.
“Curiously, each parcel concealed in the tyres of the three lawnmowers bears some unique inscriptions; which are believed to be means of identification of the owners of the drug.
“The two parcels in one of the tyres of the first lawnmower bear “O LORD” and “HAVE MERCY”.
“The parcels in one of the tyres of the second mower bear the inscription; “IN GOD” and “WE TRUST”; while the third mower has “IJIOMA” and “186.6” inscribed on the two parcels hidden in one of its tyres,” he said.
Babafemi said that the suspect claimed that one of his church members gave him the lawnmowers to deliver to his brother in Port Harcourt.
He quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as saying that the war against drug abuse; as well as trafficking was one that must be won.