"the biggest global players in the illicit anabolic steroid market."
Gurjaipal Dhillon, aged 65, from Southall, London, has been found guilty for his role in smuggling anabolic steroids.
He was part of a criminal gang which is believed to be one of the world’s most prolific smugglers of anabolic steroids worth £40 million.
Dhillon acted as a fixer for the group. He arranged dozens of unlicensed shipments of drugs from India into Europe.
National Crime Agency (NCA) officers believe the group have smuggled approximately 42 tonnes of illicit drugs into the UK. The group was led by Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, the CEO of an Indian-based pharmaceutical firm.
An investigation began in 2014, following a seizure of 300 kilograms of the steroids by Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport. The shipment intended to go to an address in Belfast.
NCA investigators then started to connect the movement of dozens of unlicensed shipments of drugs, many of which were organised by Dhillon.
The illegally imported drugs – manufactured by Sporon-Fiedler’s company in India – were shipped using Dhillon’s contacts.
When they arrived in the UK, the steroids would be distributed by 44-year-old Nathan Selcon. They would then be sold on the black market to fitness fanatics and bodybuilders.
On June 5, 2019, Dhillon was found guilty of conspiring to import a class C drug following a six week trial at the Old Bailey.
Rob Burgess, NCA regional head of investigations, said:
“Gurjaipal Dhillon was part of a conspiracy to illegally import huge amounts of anabolic steroids into the UK on an unprecedented scale.
“His role in that conspiracy was a crucial one, essentially organising the transport for the drugs and enabling them to be shipped to the UK.
“We believe this organised criminal group to be the most prolific of its kind ever uncovered, probably the biggest global players in the illicit anabolic steroid market.
“They had the ability to move tonnes of anabolic steroids into Europe where they would be sold on the black market, pocketing millions of pounds in profit.
“These drugs were completely unregulated and not subject to the usual stringent checks, therefore they posed potentially major health risks to those who used them.
“At the heart of the network lay Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, the CEO of the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the product itself.
“This investigation has identified importations totalling almost 42 tonnes of illegal steroids, however, it is likely they were responsible for far more.
“Intelligence supplied by the NCA has led to further seizures and criminal investigations by law enforcement partners across Europe.
“The NCA investigation into the group has been highly complex and lasted a number of years, but I would like to pay tribute to the diligence and professionalism of our officers. Without that, this outcome would not have been possible.”
Nick Jariwalla, Director Border Force Heathrow, said:
“Border Force works hard to keep individuals and communities safe from the illegal importation of illicit drugs like these.”
“By making seizures Border Force not only disrupts the supply chains but, as was the case here, can also provide the crucial first evidence that helps bring those responsible to justice.
Mumbai-based Danish national Jacob Sporon-Fiedler, aged 38, and Nathan Selcon, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, both pleaded guilty.
They will be sentenced alongside Gurjaipal Dhillon on July 15, 2019.