A SUSPECTED international steroid dealer, on Interpol’s wanted list and previously sentenced in Ireland for illegally selling the drug, is now the centre of a court case in Cape Town.
Brian Wainstein, dubbed the “steroid king” and who went by aliases including Brian Benjamin, was arrested in the city in January. It is thought he had been staying in Cape Town for a number of months.
Wainstein, who is out on bail, appeared in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court last week and was expected back in court next month.
Police were alerted to his presence in after an altercation took place between him and a neighbour.
Aside from his link to Ireland, Wainstein is wanted in Cyprus and was named in Canadian court papers as a member of a sophisticated steroid trafficking enterprise.
On the Interpol website, a red notice, described as a tool “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action,” was issued for Wainstein.
Interpol listed a 48-year-old man with the first names Baruch Brian and the surnames Ben Benjamin, who was born in Israel and who spoke English, as wanted by Cyprus. It listed “categories of offences” he was wanted for as “drug-related crimes, counterfeiting/forgery”.
Asked this week if Wainstein was indeed wanted by Cyprus, his legal representative, Brett Carnegie, said: “We’ve heard that, but we don’t know.” Wainstein had been named in other matters in other countries.
l In a 2009 Canadian court document, it said Glenn England, who pleaded guilty to possessing steroids for trafficking and who sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment, had been Wainstein’s Canadian distributor.
“Wainstein obtained steroids from China and shipped them to Canada to satisfy customers who had communicated with him electronically. Wainstein believed he was able to… accomplish his goals because he had purchased the complicity of a member of the Canadian Border Service Agency,” it said. However, the document said Wainstein had been mistaken; his agent had been a detective.
“The enterprise was sophisticated, extensive and lucrative,” it said.
l According to the publication the Irish Independent, in 2007 Wainstein was sentenced to an effective four months’ imprisonment for the illegal sale of anabolic steroids.
The article said he had received e-mail orders for the banned drugs from customers around the world.
In Cape Town, the man instrumental in Wainstein’s arrest, Robert Mathey, from Switzerland, was himself arrested about a week ago.
A source, who declined to be named, said Mathey was detained after Mathey and relatives had complained about a neighbour who had been playing loud music.
They had called the police and the responding officers had realised that the neighbour was in fact Wainstein.
An altercation had then occurred between Mathey and someone from Wainstein’s property.
Police spokesman Andre Traut, responding to questions about Mathey’s arrest, but who did not name him, confirmed a 30-year-old man was arrested by the Table Bay police last Saturday on charges of robbery, assault and crimen injuria.
Traut said the charges related to an incident that happened on January 19 at a residence in the V&A Waterfront.
Yesterday, Mathey’s lawyer, Niel Slabber, said his client had handed himself in at the Table Bay police station on Saturday and was released from Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on R3 000 bail on Monday.