Canary link to illegal steroids gang which used parcel post for smuggling
An international criminal organisation which smuggled illegal steroids and sexual enhancers into Spain from all parts of Europe used the Post Office to send more than 4,400 parcels weighing 3.1 tons over two years, police have revealed.
The drugs, running into millions of doses, included hormones and other active substances which, according to doctors, could have caused liver cancer, strokes and erectile dysfunction, as well as making men infertile.
Police estimate the gang made around two million euros from the scam which involved “a frenzied activity” of parcels from Portugal, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and the United States.
“These substances were dispensed without any sanitary or therapeutic control, with serious prejudice to the health of the consumers ,” said a spokesman.
The products were marketed through professionals linked to sports bodybuilding who, because of their profession, had a network of contacts and potential customers for this type of prohibited substances.
Among the detainees are some elite athletes related to bodybuilding and numerous national and international titles.
Armed officers have raided 45 houses, commercial premies and gyms in the Balearics, Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, Tarragona, Almería, Málaga, the Canarias and Huelva.
So far, 41 people have been arrested and another three are under investigation. They face charges of crimes against public health and money laundering.
The investigation began in early 2017 when police discovered a gymn in Mallorca selling banned substances.
The Balearic network had links with other cells in Spain which used the parcel post to bring in the steroids, anabo-lics, hormones and other drugs.
“The organisation had several layers and defined roles,” say the police. “The used false identities, as well as commercial structures for safer shipments. Sometimes they also had the criminal complicity of employees of the transport companies.”
Payments were sent back to the European countries with the cash hidden in similar parcels. In one case, 80,000 euros was found inside printer cartridges destined for Greece.
Police seized more than 4,200,000 doses of anabolic steroids, hormones, active substances, sexual enhancers, etc. (112 different types of substances) plus 180,000 euros, five luxury cars, small quantities of narcotic substances (speed, hashish, marijuana and cocaine), weapons and tasers.