Adriano denies transferring cash to drug lord

Published Jun. 4, 2010 7:41 p.m. ET

Adriano's lawyer says the soccer star denies transferring a large sum of money to one of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious drug lords.

Earlier this week, prosecutors said there were ``strong indications'' Adriano transferred the equivalent of $33,000 in December to Fabiano Atanasio da Silva, whom police hold responsible for the downing of a police helicopter last year.

Adriano's lawyer, Rafael Matos, told the Globo TV network on Thursday that his client told police he had received a request from Silva to help pay for a children's party in the slum where he grew up. Matos says no money went to Silva.

Prosecutors say they will ask a judge for permission to examine data from Adriano's bank accounts and telephone records.

Adriano has denied any wrongdoing and Matos said his client withdrew only about $27,000: $16,000 for food baskets to be distributed in the slum, with the rest for his mother's personal expenses.

Adriano has not been charged with any crime. According to police inspector Luiz Alberto Andrade, there is insufficient evidence to seek Adriano's indictment on drug-trafficking charges.

``We will wait to see what his bank and phone records reveal before deciding our next steps,'' Andrade said.


Adriano left Inter Milan last year and signed with Flamengo, a team he helped win Brazil's national championship. He said last week will sign with AS Roma.