RMC Sport report this afternoon that former midfielder Walid Mesloub has been handed an 18-month suspended prison sentence for money laundering by buying and selling a series of vehicles from a suspected cocaine trafficker.
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The former Lorient man had been on trial from the start of the week over his dealings with a man nicknamed Le Chinois, whose real name is Van Thang N., during his time in Brittany. The latter, who is the main suspect in the alleged drug trafficking case, will go on trial from May 31.
Mesloub, who is now assistant manager of the Lens reserves, recognised that he had been trading vehicles with the man but “did not see any harm” when faced with a man who appeared to appeared to be earning a good salary.
The prosecutor had initially called for a two-year suspended sentence, indicated that he could not prove that the former player was aware of the drug trafficking, but also considered that he was “not just receiving propositions” from Le Chinois, but also in a position to offer and “facilitate the acquisition of vehicles” for him. It was considered that Mesloub should have been wary of the “abnormal” nature of what was being asked of him, with the prosecutor estimating that €508,000 was laundered.
Mesloub’s lawyer stated that the ex-Algeria international had “invested his whole existence into football in a modest fashion, he felt important, but was unaware of the context in which is was instrumentalised.”