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Man denies importing cocaine from Brazil

PUBLISHED: 14:55 21 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 25 August 2010

A DRUGS importer was caught after accepting a cocaine consignment from an undercover officer posing as a Parcel Force delivery driver, a court heard on Monday.

A DRUGS importer was caught after accepting a cocaine consignment from an undercover officer posing as a Parcel Force delivery driver, a court heard on Monday.

Ethelbert Nzeagwu, 42, of Cooke Square, Erith, accepted the package, which had been sent from Brazil, at his home even though it was addressed to 'Peterson Alberta'.

He signed for the parcel in the false name and was immediately arrested by waiting officers, the Old Bailey was told.

Police had staged the delivery in August 2007 after customs officers at Coventry International Airport intercepted the package, which contained 293g of powder, several days earlier.

Investigators then linked Nzeagwu to another parcel, heading for his address three months earlier which was opened at Frankfurt airport, Germany, and found to contain 233g of 84 per cent pure powder.

The two deliveries had a street value of around £26,000, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Edward Connell said Nzeagwu was involved in a conspiracy with a man known as 'Prince' in Brazil to import drugs in to the country.

There was at least five deliveries to his Kent home from South America between March 1 and August 18, 2007.

The court heard the Peterson Alberta parcel was stopped in Coventry on August 14 and seven wraps of drugs were found.

After liaisons with Kent Police it was decided to repackage the box without the cocaine so that it could be delivered to the Erith address by an undercover officer known as 'Nick'.

Following his arrest Nzeagwu was interviewed and told officers he was 'acting as a good neighbour and it was good practice for neighbours to sign for one another'.

Nzeagwu also revealed he had met a South American man known as Prince while at a family party in Nigeria, but had rarely spoken to him or had telephone or text contact since.

He denies conspiracy to import class A drugs between March 1 and August 18 2007; and alternative charges of importing class A drugs on August 17 and attempting to import class A drugs on May 31.

The trial continues.

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