Federal prosecutors say ice with an estimated street value of about $10 million, which a Nigerian-born man imported to Canberra in ornate golden fish statues, could have had “calamitous consequences” if sold in the community.
Lawyers for Jackson Igwebuike, 34, agreed he acted as “more than just a mere courier” when he accepted delivery of about 8.47 grams of pure ice before he attempted to board a Murrays bus to Sydney with the drugs in his bag.
An ACT Supreme Court jury found him guilty of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug in August. Igwebuike was caught in a police sting after Australian Border Force officers intercepted packages destined for Canberra in October 2015.
His trial heard the drugs were discovered when three 20 kilogram statues that arrived in a shipping crate from China were X-rayed by officers at Port Botany on October 8.
Inside one statue of a fish they found 43 packages that contained a combined total of 10.58 kilograms of methamphetamine. Igwebuike had gone to Australia to study at the University of Canberra.
He worked in the kitchen at the territory’s jail and used his income to make phone calls to his large family, including his wife, in Nigeria. He could be deported when
released, the court heard. He will be sentenced on October 25.