Steroid Smuggling Ring Stopped in UK

Published: 19 November 2019

steroidsSteroids (source: US Drug Enforcement Administration)

By Laura Mallene

A group led by the CEO of an Indian pharmaceutical company was convicted on Thursday for running a massive anabolic steroid distribution network, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) reported Friday. 

Five men were sentenced to 2-6 years in jail soon after the UK security forces captured them on the strength of an NCA’s investigation that began in 2014 and spread across 26 countries. It was initiated after UK’s Border Force officers confiscated some 600 kilos of steroids at Heathrow. 

According to the NCA, the group was led by Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, 38, a former Danish national bodybuilder and CEO of Alpha Pharma in India. He worked through a network of UK fixers to arrange and distribute dozens of unlicensed shipments of drugs from India throughout Europe.  

The BBC reported that Sporon-Fiedler’s company had been supplying four tonnes of anabolic steroids to Europe every month. Sportsmen often use the anabolic-androgenic steroids, also known as AAS, to increase muscles’ mass. 

The company reportedly found market for its anabolics among bodybuilders, gyms, even professional athletes, obtaining some 65 million pounds (US$83.8 million) through the distribution since 2014. 

The NCA, however, said the true figure could be much higher and could run into the hundreds of millions. 

The UK former bodybuilding champion Nathan Selcon, according to the report, was the closest Sporon-Fiedler’s accomplice, and was found guilty of conspiring to import steroids, but also of conspiring to manufacture them. 

“This organized crime group was the most prolific of its kind ever uncovered, likely the biggest global players in the illicit anabolic steroid market," NCA branch commander David Cunningham said in the agency’s statement.