SHARP-EYED Customs officers checked a parcel bound for a Colchester address and found £40,000 of cocaine inside.

A court heard how the parcel supposedly contained an Xbox games console, but officers became suspicious when it weighed more than it should have done. When it was checked, nearly a kilogram of 75 per cent pure cocaine was found inside.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Customs officials replaced the cocaine with harmless white powder and the parcel was forwarded on to the address of 48-year-old Michael Igwe.

Samantha Leigh, prosecuting, said an undercover officer delivered the parcel to Igwe’s former home in Mill Road, and he signed for it.

Minutes later, 21 police officers raided his home and arrested him. The court heard there was nothing to suggest Igwe was going to cut up the drug or sell it.

Igwe, of Reede Road, Dagenham, was jailed for seven years after he admitted a charge of drug smuggling.

Judge Karen Walden-Smith told him: “This was a large amount of cocaine and you were sufficiently trusted by those involved in the operation to have it under your control.”

The court heard the parcel had arrived at Stansted Airport from America in early May last year and was marked as containing an Xbox. Miss Leigh said it was weighed, but the weight did not match with the weight of an Xbox.

The cocaine inside was replaced and an undercover Customs officer posing as a delivery driver delivered it to Igwe’s home, the court heard.

Karen Johnson, mitigating, told the court Igwe got involved as he needed money.

l Another man, Dona Nnadi, 47, of Kendall Road, Colchester, denied the smuggling charge at a hearing earlier this week and the prosecution offered no evidence against him.