Sao Paulo : Former Colombian international footballer Freddy Rincon was arrested in Brazil and will be extradited to Panama to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.
Brazilian police said that Rincon – who played for his country in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups and who won the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup with Corinthians – was arrested by federal Brazilian and Interpol agents early Thursday at his home in western Sao Paulo.
Panamanian authorities have accused the former footballer of having links to Colombian drug boss Pablo Rayo Montano, arrested last year by Brazil's federal police in Sao Paulo. Both men, helped by a Panamanian firm, allegedly smuggled cocaine into the US and Europe.
The former star's lawyer, Eduardo Nunes da Silva, refused to comment on the arrest. Rincon, 40, has insisted he is innocent.
Rincon is one of Colombia's greatest football stars, and has also played for foreign clubs like Real Madrid, Napoli and Brazilian giants Palmeiras, Santos and Corinthians. He was capped 84 times for Colombia and scored 17 goals for the South American country.
He launched his career as a coach this year at the modest, second-division club Sao Bento. However, he resigned after a 1-6 defeat to Marilia.