Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted 24 parcels of cocaine concealed in 12 tyres of lawnmowers imported into the country through the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) by a Brazilian returnee, Okechukwu Francis Amaechi.
It was gathered that Mr Amaechi just finished serving a jail term for drug trafficking in the South American country.
Spokesman of the agency, Femi Babafemi, said on Sunday in Abuja that the 45-year-old ex-convict from Idemili South LGA, Anambra State was arrested at the Port Harcourt airport on Saturday 7th May upon his arrival from Brazil via Doha onboard Qatar Airline flight QR1433.
“Preliminary investigations revealed 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 lawnmowers where he 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 bears 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,” Babafemi said.
However, Okechukwu claimed one of his church members gave him the lawnmowers to deliver to his brother in Port Harcourt.