Man held in huge steroid bust

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

INSIDE a Benoni flat, War­rant Of­fi­cer Werner Koeke­moer stands among a wide range of boxes filled with pills.

Small vials of ei­ther clear or brown­ish liq­uids are in the fridge, along with sy­ringes and sur­gi­cal gloves.

It is all part of the seizure of il­le­gal steroids worth R80 000 and the sub­se­quent ar­rest of a 25-year-old man yes­ter­day.

Koeke­moer said the seizure just scratched the sur­face of a huge un­der­ground dis­tri­bu­tion net­work in Gaut­eng, and that a po­lice op­er­a­tion would be cru­cial in iden­ti­fy­ing and ar­rest­ing the ma­jor sup­pli­ers.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which in­volved spe­cialised se­cu­rity forces, crime in­tel­li­gence and the K9 Unit, led to a search of the man’s flat and his ar­rest.

“The in­di­vid­u­als he is aligned with are al­legedly re­spon­si­ble for the large il­le­gal un­der­ground steroid dis­tri­bu­tion net­work that spans across

‘The net­work op­er­ates beyond SA’s bor­ders’

Gaut­eng,” Koeke­moer said.

Inside the flat, po­lice found pack­ages of a com­bi­na­tion of steroids ready for drop-offs and pick-ups, growth hor­mones, a list of steroids and their prices as well as boxes of pills.

“We found fat burn­ers – ReliSlim for weight loss, Duromine which sup­presses ap­petite, and growth hor­mones that are re­ally scarce and very ex­pen­sive.

“We know who the main sup­plier is and know that most of th­ese prod­ucts have been im­ported, in­di­cat­ing that he is a part of a net­work which op­er­ates beyond South Africa’s bor­ders,” Koeke­moer said.

He said the drugs were mostly sold to pupils, stu­dents who were ath­letes, and peo­ple with weight prob­lems.

“With the vol­ume of the prod­uct here, this is not the be­gin­ning of the op­er­a­tion. I would say we caught it in the mid­dle or it has been go­ing on for a while,” said Koeke­moer.

The sus­pect will ap­pear in the Benoni Mag­is­trate’s Court soon. He ap­par­ently has a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal back­ground.

“I got in­volved in sell­ing after I saw a few guys get­ting big­ger and bulkier at col­lege,” the sus­pect said.

“They told me how they were get­ting big and gave me the num­ber of a guy who could sell me prod­ucts that could get me into shape. And that’s when I started sell­ing.”

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