Criminal group involved in large-scale trafficking of illegal doing substances disrupted

4400 shipments of parcels weighing approximately 3.1 tonnes in total between 2016 and 2017.

Estimated gang could have earned EUR 2 million in illegal profits during this period.

Illicit substances imported by gang from Portugal.

Europol has supported the Spanish Guardia Civil in an operation targeting an organised crime group involved in the large-scale trafficking of illicit doping substances. As a result, the criminal group was totally dismantled, and large amounts of illegal medicines and various substances were seized, most of them related to sports doping.

During the investigation, which took place in four different phases, 41 individuals were arrested in various Spanish regions, and 45 searches carried out at homes, stores and gyms across Spain. Among the arrestees were some elite athletes and international bodybuilding and fitness champions. In addition, investigators seized more than EUR 200 000 in cash, five (5) luxury vehicles, small quantities of narcotic substances (speed, hashish, marijuana and cocaine) and various weapons.

Europol assisted the investigations on the spot by deploying eight specialists to various cities in Spain during different phases of the investigation. This allowed for real-time exchange of information and cross-checks against Europol’s databases, as well as extractions of data from phones and data storage devices.

The investigation began in early 2017, after a sports centre in the Balearic Islands (Spain) was detected dispensing these substances without any medical or therapeutic checks. Investigators identified the person responsible for this illegal activity, who imported the illicit substances from Portugal. In addition, investigators identified several cells of the organisation across various Spanish provinces also involved in the illegal commercialisation of these products. Source Europol

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