PRAGUE, April 9 (Xinhua) — The Czech police announced on Friday that they had uncovered a large-scale international operation of illicit trafficking in hormonal substances.
The police said in a press release that the operation was trading at least five million ampoules of anabolic steroids a year to be used mainly by professional bodybuilders, powerlifters and owners and customers of various fitness centers across the European Union (EU).
The investigation was initiated by the Czech Republic and Slovakia, later joined by Hungary and Europol, and involved cooperation from Romania, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Spain.
The substance manufactured by the operation, according to the investigators, is a counterfeit of an official drug used in the EU.
Police detained six people in the Czech Republic in connection with the investigation, along with 18 others in Slovakia and an unspecified number in other participating countries.
In the Czech Republic, police seized about 20 million Czech crowns (about 917,000 U.S. dollars) worth of property related to the alleged organized criminal activity, including two properties, three cars, a large number of different types of anabolic steroids and counterfeit medicines, as well as mobile phones.
Police also seized a fully equipped manufacturing plant in Romania, which they believe was the center of the operation’s drug manufacturing. (1 U.S. dollar = 21.821 Czech crowns)