Bodybuilder and his associates jailed over illegal steroid ring
A former bodybuilder and three associates who helped to illegally manufacture, import and supply anabolic steroids with a street value of almost £12m have today been jailed.
Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, 38, himself a former body builder, was head of the worldwide smuggling ring which saw steroids distributed across the world from his headquarters in Mumbai.
Between 2009 and 2015, it is thought that Sporon-Fiedler and his associates, Gurjaipal Dhillon, 65 and Nathan Selcon, 44, illegally transported around 15,000kgs of anabolic steroids - worth £11.9 million - into the UK. Meanwhile in the UK, Selcon, along with two other key players, Mohamed Afzal, 34, and Alexander MacGregor 50, were illegally manufacturing steroids, hiding their production in shipping containers and small industrial units.
Russell Tyner, from the CPS, said: “This was an extensive criminal operation that enabled thousands of steroids to be made and distributed illegally, putting our communities at risk.
"By using fake companies and doctored descriptions, they were able to evade the law for years and make millions in the process.”
Sporon-Fiedler coordinated the manufacture of the class C drugs through his company Alpha Pharma. Dhillon and Selcon were involved in the smuggling and distribution of steroids into and within the UK.
Under a bogus company, Chesslet Research, Dhillon arranged for the boxes of steroids to be labelled with false descriptions and provided misleading information to customs inspectors.
Once the steroids were ready for collection, Selcon and Dhillon would be notified, pick up the packages, and distribute the drugs.
Building the case
On 16 March 2015, customs officers intercepted a delivery at Heathrow Airport, finding 36 boxes of Sopron-Fielder’s unlicensed Alpha Pharma branded steroids covered in British Airways labels. Expecting the delivery, Selcon checked in with Sporon-Fiedler to see what the reason for the delay was and received the reply, “seized…(sad face emoji).” These messages were central to the CPS case in court.
The Crown said Sporon-Fiedler’s leading role in the smuggling operation was clear. Dhillon claimed that he was only a businessman in the garment trade but the prosecution presented evidence showing that he would frequently fly to Mumbai, where Sporon-Fiedler and a part of his manufacturing operation was based.
Afzal and MacGregor denied their part in the illegal production of steroids, but the Crown were able to prove that they had created a laboratory in a container located at MacGregor’s business premises close to Heathrow Airport.
The prosecution strengthened their case against Afzal as they found that he had owned a small industrial unit that was filled with equipment used to manufacture steroids including machinery used fill and seal the tablets, the chemicals needed to make the steroids and a labelling machine.
Mr Tyner added: “This network thought they could hide their extensive manufacture and smuggling operation, but the case built against these men means a major supplier of dangerous steroids have been jailed.
"We will not hesitate to pursue the most serious charges against anyone involved in this trade, no matter how sophisticated or large-scale the operation.
“The CPS now intends to pursue confiscation to recoup all of these illicit funds and send the message that we will not allow criminals to make profits out of drugs.”
Selcon and Sporon-Fiedler pleaded guilty to conspiracy to fraudulently evade the prohibition of a controlled drug, while Dhillon, was found guilty of the same offence following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Afzal, MacGregor and Selcon were all found guilty of producing Class C controlled drugs at the Old Bailey.
Notes to editors
- Russell Tyner is the Crown Prosecutor for the International Justice and Organised Crime Division
- Jacob Sporon-Fiedler (22/08/1981) pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading the prohibition of a controlled drug at the Old Bailey and has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison
- Gurjaipal Dhillon (18/01/1954) was found guilty of fraudulently evading the prohibition of a controlled drug at the Old Bailey and has been sentenced to five years in prison
- Nathan Selcon (30/07/1974) pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading the prohibition of a controlled drug at the Old Bailey and has been sentenced to six years in prison. He was also found guilty of conspiracy to produce controlled drugs of class C at the Old Bailey and was sentenced to six years in prison to run concurrently
- Alexander MacGregor (22/11/1968) was found guilty of conspiracy to produce controlled drugs of class C at the Old Bailey and will be sentenced in January 2020
- Mohamed Afzal (20/08/1984) was found guilty of conspiracy to produce controlled drugs of class C at the Old Bailey and was sentenced to two years in prison.