Danish pharma tycoon behind steroid smuggling operation worth £65m.
A group of men who ran an operation worth more than £65m distributing illegal steroids have been jailed.
A Danish pharmaceutical tycoon behind the world’s biggest ever steroid smuggling gang in a conspiracy worth £65million is facing jail.
Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, 38, imported 16 tonnes of performance-enhancing drugs into the UK from India with the help of a gang including former champion bodybuilder Nathan Selcon, 45.
The kingpin – a former bodybuilder from Copenhagen – used an indirect route via the Ukraine and Frankfurt while organising the shipment of around £12million of illicit anabolic steroids into the UK.
Sporon-Fiedler and Selcon admitted conspiring to import steroids at the Old Bailey.
Sporon-Fiedler, 38, was jailed for five years and four months.
Selcon, 45, was also found guilty of conspiring to manufacture steroids and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Three other men were also convicted for their roles:
- Gurjaipal Dhillon, from Southall, west London, arranged dozens of unlicensed steroid shipments from India to Europe and was found guilty of conspiring to import a class C drug. The 65-year-old was jailed for five years.
- Mohammed Afzal, 34, from Slough, Berkshire, helped to set up the lab near Heathrow Airport which was used to make own branded drugs. He was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture steroids and was sentenced to two years in prison.
- Alexander Macgregor, 50, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, owned a corporate logistics company and was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture steroids. He is due to be sentenced at a later date due to illness.
The steroids – which were similar to those used by the London Bridge and Westminster terrorists – were said to have been sold to bodybuilders, gym users and possibly professional athletes, the court heard.
The group was also connected to another lab in Slough which produced about £10m worth of steroids before it was raided by Thames Valley Police in 2009.
Sentencing the men, Judge Angela Rafferty QC said: “I am satisfied this was a long-running, sophisticated and well managed operation and no [previous steroid case] is comparable to the scale of this particular conspiracy. This was exceptionally large.”
Senior investigator at the NCA David Cunningham said afterwards: “If Sporon-Fiedler thought he could trade class C illicit anabolic steroids and be beyond the reach of law enforcement, he was wrong.”
Sporon-Fiedler’s empire came crashing down when he was arrested in 2018 followed a four-year investigation by the National Crime Agency.
His gang was also linked to two secret ‘Breaking Bad’ style laboratories which had produced a total of £53m worth of steroids between 2009 and 2017.
The probe was launched in 2014 after more than 630kg of anabolic steroids and prescription medicines destined for Belfast were intercepted by Heathrow Airport border security staff.
Sporon-Fiedler, the founder of healthcare firm Alpha-Pharma, based in Mumbai, India, admitted conspiring to import steroids between March 2009 and April 2015.
He founded Alpha-Pharma Healthcare in 2005, a company which specialises in ‘high potency speciality drugs from the development to market’ according to his blog.
Five years later he founded Dune Medicare, a Copenhagen-based wholesale distributor but he retired as a director of that company in 2015.
Selcon, Mohammed Afzal, 35, and Alexander MacGregor, 50, manufactured £43m worth of steroids from a secret lab at a shipping container near Heathrow.
The container looked innocuous but an internal door revealed a ‘hospital standard laboratory’ where the pills were made before they were sold to bodybuilders on the black market.