Man held in huge steroid bust
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.”