The son of the Brazilian football legend Pele has been sentenced to 33 years in prison after being found guilty of laundering money for an alleged drugs cartel.

Edinho, himself a former professional footballer for Pele’s old club Santos, was accused of using his father’s name to provide an air of legitimacy to businesses which handled money made through trafficking.

Tried under his full name of Edson Cholbi do Nascimento, the 43-year-old was given an identical sentence to four other members of the alleged gang, including the fugitive cartel boss Ronaldo Duarte Barsotti, known as Naldinho.

Naldinho was accused of controlling a large proportion of the drugs moving through the country’s south-east region, including the supply of cocaine to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, but has been on the run from police for more than five years.

The gang was based in Santos, where Edinho is currently employed at his former club as a goalkeeping coach, and prosecutors said he acted as a “link between the armed and the financial parts” of the cartel, The Tribune reported.

According to the Santos-based newspaper, the court heard records of one telephone conversation in which Naldinho and Edinho discussed opening a new business. The former footballer apparently said that if the gang boss could provide the money, he would “provide the name” – believed to be an allusion to his famous father… see more

source: independent UK