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AFP
November 15, 2019

Pharma boss jailed for heading ‘biggest’ steroids network in UK

World

AFP
November 15, 2019

LONDON: A British judge on Thursday jailed the head of an international pharmaceutical firm who ran what officials believe was the world’s biggest ever illegal anabolic steroid distribution network.

Former bodybuilder Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, who headed the India-based company Alpha Pharma, was sentenced to more than five years in prison following a five-year investigation involving 26 countries.

British investigators found the 38-year-old Dane had used a network of UK-based fixers to import around 16 tonnes of steroids into Britain with an estimated value of nearly £12 million ($15 million, 14 million euros).

The broader probe by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) identified around 42 tonnes of the drug brought into the country in dozens of unlicensed shipments from India via Europe. "This organised 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 a statement.

"Sporon-Fiedler thought that by orchestrating this network from abroad he was untouchable, but following his arrest he found we had so much evidence against him he felt he had no choice but to plead guilty." The illicit manufacture or supply of anabolic steroids is illegal in Britain under a 1971 law, punishable by up to 14 years in prison and a possible heavy fine.

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