04:41 GMT09 August 2020
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    The head of an Indian pharmaceutical company has pleaded guilty to importing huge quantities of illegal anabolic steroids into Northern Ireland. Weeks before his arrest Jacob Sporon-Fiedler predicted an "unpredictable" year for the Indian pharmaceutical industry.

    Jacob Sporon-Fielder, a 37-year-old Danish national who set up several companies in Mumbai, appeared at the Central Criminal Court in London on Thursday, June 28, and admitted charges of conspiracy relating to Class C substances worth more than £80 million (US$105 million).

    In 2014 the UK Border Force seized more than 600 kilos of steroids which had been sent from India and were destined for an address in Belfast.

    The UK's National Crime Agency launched an investigation and traced the shipment back to Mumbai, where Sporon-Fiedler ran a pharmaceutical company.

    They believed he had also successfully imported several other shipments of anabolic steroids, which are often used by bodybuilders to speed up muscle development.

    In March 2015 Sporon-Fiedler was arrested when he landed at London's Heathrow airport and was interviewed about the steroids.

    He was charged and on Thursday, at his first appearance at the Old Bailey, he pleaded guilty at a case management hearing.

    His Co-Defendants Face Trials in 2019

    Gurjaipal Dhillon, Mohammed Afzal, and another man pleaded not guilty and will go on trial in February and April 2019.

    Sporon-Fielder will be sentenced at the end of those trials.

    On his blog Sporon-Fiedler describes himself as a "pharmaceutical executive and entrepreneur based in India".

    He founded Alpha-Pharma Healthcare in 2005 which he says, on his blog, "specializes in high potency speciality drugs from the development to market".

    Five years later he founded Dune Medicare, a Copenhagen-based wholesale distributor but he retired as a director of that company in 2015.

    In 2010 he founded Moirae Generics, a company which "focuses on sourcing and dispensing more than 800 medicinal products" for customers worldwide.

    His most recent enterprise is Zenzi Pharmaceutical Industries, which has a large factory in Murbad, a city east of Mumbai, and manufacturers generic medicines.

    One Million UK Residents 'Take Steroids'

    In 2016 research revealed up to one million UK residents prefer to take anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to improve their appearance rather than sport results.

    In 2004, the Drug Enforcement Administration listed the many side-effects of steroid use, including mood swings, impaired judgment, depression, increased aggression, extreme irritability, hostility, and delusional behavior.

    So-called 'roid rage has been blamed for a number of violent incidents, including the murder-suicide of US wrestler Chris Benoit.

    Benoit killed his wife, Nancy, and their son, Daniel, at their home in Fayetteville, Georgia, in June 2007 and then used a weight stand to kill himself.


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    pharmaceuticals, steroids, guilty plea, drugs, National Crime Agency (NCA), India, Belfast, United Kingdom, Mumbai
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