Latin America & Caribbean

Colombian footballer Freddy Rincon wanted by Interpol

Screen grab of red notice against Colombian footballer Freddy Rincon
Image caption Interpol issued a red notice for Freddy Rincon

Former Colombian footballer Freddy Rincon is wanted for questioning in Panama over alleged money-laundering, Interpol said on Wednesday.

Interpol issued a red notice, which seeks "the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action".

Mr Rincon is wanted in neighbouring Panama on money laundering and drugs-related criminal conspiracy charges.

He denied any wrongdoing and said he was "surprised" by the notice.

'Front man'

Mr Rincon is famous for scoring a goal for Colombia against Germany in the 1990 World Cup.

Image caption Freddy Rincon (back row, third from right) played for Colombia's national squad (file photo)

He played for Italian club Napoli, Real Madrid in Spain, and Palmeiras and Corinthians in Brazil.

Prosecutors in Panama say Mr Rincon served as a front man for a Panama-based firm used by Colombian drug dealers to launder money.

Mr Rincon has in the past said the money he invested in the business was his and denied any links to drug trafficking.

He said the allegations were refuted back in 2007 when he was held for investigation for more than four months in Brazil.

Mr Rincon told Colombian weekly Semana: "Panama has no evidence against me, and that's why Brazil archived the case against me. Colombia should do the same."

He said in the past that he knew convicted drug baron Pablo Rayo Montano from their time growing up in the port city of Buenaventura. However, he denies doing any business with him.

Rayo Montano, who was captured in Brazil in 2006, was one of Colombia's most prolific drug dealers and laundered huge sums of money in Panama.

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