Pubdate: Wed, 08 Jun 2005
Source: Belfast Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Helen McCormack


Soccer legend Pele wept when he visited his son, who is in police
custody in Brazil on suspicion of drug trafficking, and said he
regretted he had failed to see Edinho was using narcotics.

Edson Cholbi Nascimento, 34, known as Edinho, was arrested on Monday
along with 51 others in the port city of Santos. He was being held at
the anti-narcotics police headquarters in the state capital, Sao Paulo.

In a letter released by his lawyer, Edinho, a former goalkeeper for
Santos soccer club, said he was dependent on marijuana but denied
being involved with drug traffickers.

Police said that based on tapped phone calls they believed Edinho was
involved with cocaine traffickers.

Pele visited Edinho yesterday and said afterwards: "As you know I am a
very emotional person and when I saw Edinho, I had nothing to say. I
just embraced him and cried all the time, saying that I would try to
help him overcome this problem.

"Perhaps because I was working so much I didn't see this. It's sad
that because of my intense campaign against drugs I could not see what
was happening in my own house."

Edinho said he experimented with drugs as a teenager but the situation
got out of control when he stopped playing for Santos in 1999.

The anti-narcotics police chief, Ivaney Caires de Souza, said there
were indications Edinho was connected to Ronaldo Duarte Barsotti de
Freitas, or Naldinho, who was also arrested and is accused of heading
a drugs trafficking and money-laundering ring with links to the
notorious Red Command and First Capital Command gangs.
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