Thursday 25 April 2019

Ex-Southampton and Portsmouth footballer held in Colombia on US drug warrant

Prosecutors in Texas believe Jhon Viafara was part of a criminal network tied to the feared Gulf cartel, Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office said.

Jhon Viafara playing for Southampton (Nick Potts/PA)
Jhon Viafara playing for Southampton (Nick Potts/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

Former Southampton and Portsmouth midfielder Jhon Viafara has been arrested in his native Colombia on a US drug warrant, officials said.

Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office said prosecutors in Texas believe Viafara was part of a criminal network tied to the nation’s feared Gulf cartel.

For a decade, the cartel moved large shipments of cocaine on fast boats and semi-submersibles through the Pacific Ocean to Central America and on to the US.

Viafara was arrested along with four other people near the southern city of Cali after being involved in a car accident.

Police said he was speeding while driving intoxicated.

The 40-year-old played for several Colombian club teams and the national team, as well as Portsmouth, Southampton and Spain’s Real Sociedad, before retiring in 2015.

Colombia’s booming cocaine trade has sometimes lured football stars who in retirement struggle to maintain the lifestyle they grew accustomed to in their playing days.

A month ago, former national team defender Diego Leon Osorio was convicted for distributing narcotics.

Press Association

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