Canberra, Australia. August 30th. A Nigerian man accused of using fish statues to import $10 million worth of methamphetamine (ice) has been found guilty in Australia today. The man identified as Jackson Igwebuike accused of importing the drugs hidden inside three fish statues imported from china, was found guilty despite maintaining he was set up by a friend. Jackson Igwebuike, a University of Canberra student, arrived in Australia in July 2015 on the student visa.
Jackson Igwebuike, 32, was caught in a police sting after Australian Border Force officers intercepted packages destined for Canberra.
The shipment contained three 20 kilogram statues from China, one of which allegedly contained the drug ice. The drug was replaced with an inert substance and sent on to an address in Kaleen. ACT Policing allege more drugs and similar statues were found during a search of one of the houses in Kaleen. Igwebuike is facing a term of life imprisonment. His case was tried in the ACT Magistrates Court. He had entered pleas of not guilty.
Jackson Igwebuike maintained throughout his trial in the ACT Supreme Court that he was tricked into transporting the drugs, with which he was caught at the Jolimont Centre in Canberra while trying to board a bus from Canberra to Sydney.
Jackson Igwebuike said he agreed to deliver the fish statues to help his friend’s decor business, as the friend had helped him when he came to Australia to study. But he said two men came and broke open the statues, revealing packaging wrapped in black, and demanded he take them to Sydney.
Jackson Igwebuike told the court the men threatened him with a gun and a picture of his wife, who was in Nigeria. Igwebuike told the court he realised what was happening but he was scared and unable to back out.
“They made it clear that if I did not take these items they would be prepared to kill my wife and destroy me,” he told the court. “They have ruined my life. I can’t even get a job.”
Photo: Jackson Igwebuike
The jury rejected his account and took just over two hours to find him guilty of importing the drugs. He will be sentenced in October.
ACT Policing believe the alleged drug importation was part of an organised crime syndicate with national and international links. ACT Policing Drugs and Organized Crime team leader detective sergeant Bill Freeman led the investigation.
Border Force officials were in court in case Igwebuike was released from custody. The court heard that, if bailed, Igwebuike would be immediately taken into immigration detention.