Cirque du Soleil founder held in Tahiti in marijuana case
PARIS — The founder of world-renowned acrobatic group Cirque du Soleil has been detained in French Polynesia in a drug-trafficking investigation.
A French police official told The Associated Press that billionaire Guy Laliberte is expected to appear before a judge Wednesday in the territory’s capital of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti.
His detention also was confirmed by Lune Rouge, a Montreal-based company headed by Laliberte. It said the Canadian entrepreneur is being questioned about cannabis grown for personal use on his private island of Nukutepipi.
The company says Laliberte is a medical marijuana user, but he “categorically denies” involvement in the sale or trafficking of controlled substances.
“Guy Laliberte completely dissociates himself from any rumor implicating him… in the sale or traffic of drugs,” it said.
Local broadcaster Polynesie 1 says police detained a person close to Laliberte recently for drug possession and found photos of cannabis plantations in the person’s cellphone.
According to local television station Polynesie Premiere, police had questioned one of Laliberte’s associates some weeks ago on suspicion of possessing drugs and found images of marijuana plantations on their mobile phone.
With Agence France-Presse
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.