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Customs officials raid home doping lab

Finnish customs officials have uncovered a major home doping lab in the eastern Savo region. The makeshift facility prepared sizeable quantities of testosterone pills and ampoules for use by overzealous fitness enthusiasts.

Ampoules confiscated by customs officials. Image: Suomen tulli

According to Finnish customs, the doping find appears to have been the most profitable in Finland to date. Officials picked up the trail of the illegal production facility last autumn.

The lab was located in an abandoned home in a small town in Savo, eastern Finland. On the ground floor of the residence, operators apparently pressed doping pills in unsanitary conditions, while upstairs a marijuana nursery appeared to be under construction.

Two of the suspects in the case appear to be close relatives; one of them has a lab technician’s degree. Customs officials would not provide any more specific information about the location of the drug dive, nor of the identity of the suspects while a preliminary investigation is ongoing.

Street value of over 200,000 euros

Officials nabbed more than 200,000 doping tablets in addition to thousands of ampoules containing liquid testosterone. The value of the banned substances was estimated at around 200,000 euros, while investigators speculated that the operators would have cleared a profit of about 75,000 euros.

Customs also speculated that the main raw ingredients for the factory were smuggled into the country from Thailand. Prepared tablets could have been packaged in medicine jars with labels that would attract consumers.

Buyers would not necessarily be aware that regardless of the labels, all the jars contained the same substance in varying concentrations – testosterone.

The operators of the makeshift lab managed to distribute thousands of their products in different parts of the country: Savo, Oulu, Lahti and the Helsinki region.

Buyers have included middlemen who have supplied the products to their customers. Testosterone products are generally misused by body builders looking for more power and bulk.

Altogether law enforcement officials held nearly ten persons on suspicion of aggravated doping and other offences.

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