Steroid smuggler must forfeit $9.4M in crypto or face 10 years in prison
A key member of an organized international smuggling group responsible for shipping 42 tonnes of steroids has been ordered to hand over £7.5 million ($9.4 million) worth of crypto by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) or face 10 years in prison.
Mohammed Afzal from Slough was previously sentenced to two years in prison in November 2019 after he was found guilty of planning to manufacture anabolic steroids to be sold on the black market.
Last Friday, however, a Central Criminal Court judge ordered the 39-year-old to hand over £9.825 million ($12.3 million) worth of assets or face returning to prison for a further 10 years. This includes the £7.5 million in crypto, £1 million ($1.3 million) worth of property, and a Mercedes SUV. According to the NCA, it’s believed to be the largest crypto recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Afzal’s gang sourced steroids from an Indian-based pharmaceutical company and shipped them to the UK. From here, a series of labs owned by Afzal converted the powder into liquid form before it was sold to steroid users on the criminal market.
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Four other members of the gang have also been convicted and ordered to hand over their assets, bringing the total seizure to over £11.8 million ($14.8 million).
Forty-nine shipments containing 16,000kg of unlicensed steroids worth roughly £12 million ($15 million) were linked to the group.
Afzal claimed to only have £100,000 ($125,000) in assets and used outside contacts to help disguise his property and crypto investments.