Dismantled a network dedicated to the manufacture and trafficking of doping substances at the national level for athletes

Agents of the Spanish Civil Guard, in a joint operation with the National Police, have dismantled a criminal organization dedicated, presumably, to the manufacture and distribution at the national level of medicinal substances. In the framework of the fight against illicit and irregular drug trafficking, a clandestine laboratory for the manufacture of this type of substance has been dismantled, which had more than 15 different types of products under its own brand.

The agents began their investigations at the beginning of 2019, following the detection of shipments of active drug ingredients entering Spain from China, Turkey or Bulgaria. The study of these shipments revealed various routes of distribution of finished products, among which were various types of anabolics, steroids, hormones and drugs against erectile dysfunction. These medications were distributed for oral and injectable administration.

In March 2021, in the Ciudad Real town of Valdepeñas, various people linked to the world of bodybuilding were arrested and a large number of products, as well as documentation related to the aforementioned crime, were seized. From the analysis of this documentation, it was possible to identify a person who presented himself as the representative of a brand of high-quality anabolic steroids. As a result of the surveillance and monitoring, his relationship with other people located in Malaga who were also engaged in the sale and distribution of medicinal substances was observed.

Both investigations converged in the identification of the real origin of the products, being in the same Benalmádena (Málaga), becoming a joint investigation between both police forces. Once the enormous volume of illegal drugs harmful to health was verified, even for the people who were manufacturing and distributing them, as well as, due to the number of security measures that they adopted, typical of the field of organized crime, it was decided bring all the facts to the knowledge of the Investigating Court No. 5 of those of Torremolinos.

A clandestine laboratory without sanitary measures

According to what was observed in the course of the investigation, it was found that the drugs with which those involved were trading would be produced in a clandestine laboratory located in the home of two of those involved, located in the town of Benalmádena. Said laboratory lacked any type of sanitary measure or control of sterilization and conservation, and in it, among other things, a tablet manufacturing machine was located, as well as various utensils and devices for the manufacture of capsules and filling of vials. for injection.

Those investigated, as a security measure, used an online clothing store to justify the large volume of marketing and parcels they moved. However, the investigators were able to find out that what they were really distributing were medicinal substances.

The cells or points of redistribution of the products were strategically selected in terms of their location, all having a common modus operandi, so that, for the most part, they masked their real and main activity, which was the distribution of medicines under the guise of legal businesses, such as nutrition stores, veterinary clinics or gyms. The fact of using these businesses made it easier for them both to mask their activity and to contact potential clients.

The operation has been carried out in permanent contact with the Spanish Agency for the Protection of Health in Sport (AEPSAD), the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), Pharmacy Inspections of the Valencian Community and Andalusia and the Agriculture Service, Livestock , Industry and Quality (Córdoba Territorial Delegation), who have provided information and advice of vital importance, having also attended the records and inspections carried out.

To date, six entries and searches have been carried out in homes, as well as inspections in commercial premises linked to the organization, intervening, among other effects, more than 125,000 doses of finished product, cardboard for the preparation of products, vials, caps , more than a kilogram of what appears to be an active ingredient for the manufacture of more doses of different products, test tubes, different laboratory material, as well as other substances for the “cut” of the active ingredient.

On the other hand, 1,585 pieces of clothing from various counterfeit brands were seized, which were also distributed by those investigated in the province of Malaga, for which they have also been investigated for an alleged crime against industrial property.