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Bikies going postal as Customs seizures of steroids and hormones soar

OUTLAW bikies and organised crime gangs are smuggling record amounts of banned steroids and hormones into Australia.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Services is policing airport importing rings and international postal deliveries of illegal pills and liquids.

The detection of performance-enhancing drugs soared 56 per cent last year, while seizures of hormones more than doubled, Customs figures show.

And the Australian Crime Commission said criminals were becoming major players in the distribution of peptides and hormones, with "steroid abuse" now heavily linked to outlaw bikie gangs.

ACC acting chief executive officer Paul Jevtovic said organised crime groups were establishing a greater presence in the profitable and established performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) market.


"The ACC identified that organised crime identities and groups are involved in the domestic distribution of PIEDs, including peptides and hormones, to a greater extent than was previously thought to be the case," Mr Jevtovic said.

"If left unchecked, it is likely that organised criminals will increase their presence in the distribution of peptides and hormones."

There were 8721 detections of performance-enhancing drugs in 2011-12, up from 5562 a year before.

Peptides, such as erythropoietin (EPO) and darbepoetin alfa, and anabolic agent DHEA are being smuggled into the country, with the drugs regularly being sent by mail.

Customs spokesman Matt Wardell said vanity-obsessed Aussies had driven up the demand, with many bought from markets in South-East Asia.

He said most PIEDs that were brought into the country were for personal use.

"Certain individuals and certain groups are interested in getting their hands on these sort of materials and we are alerted to that at the border," he said.


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