Chris Johnstone | 26.07.2011
Czech Police said Tuesday that that they bust a ring composed of ex-sportsmen, body builders, fitness trainers and organizers of competitions in the sector which produced and sold counterfeit anabolic steroids and other hormone-based drugs.
The special unit for combating organized crime (ÚOOZ) said eight Czechs and three Slovaks were arrested after a surveillance operation started in 2010 of their secretive production site in the eastern Zlín region. The action was prepared in cooperation witht the National Anti-Drug Center (NPC).
The tablets, promising success in the conventional sporting and sexual arenas, were sold not just to sportsmen but to people suffering from specific illnesses such as liver and kidney problems and erectile disfunction, the police said in a statement.
At the factory site, which was protected by sophisticated security equipment, police found hundreds of thousands of tablets. Around 24 kilograms of a blue tablet “for men” — no doubt a Viagra rip off — was discovered on site, for example. Cash totaling around Kč 500,000 was also found at the factory.
The drugs were distributed around the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other EU countries, police added.
Three of the eleven have been detained in custody with the others released on bail. Charges include production and distribution of hormone affecting substances, flouting protected copyright and brand protection, illegal commerce and illegal production and distribution of psychotropic drugs and preparations.
Members of the group could face sentences of between five and 12 years in prison if found guilty of their charges.