Cirque du Soleil founder held in Tahiti in marijuana case

US & World

PARIS (AP) — The founder of world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil has been detained in French Polynesia in a drug-trafficking investigation.

A French police official told The Associated Press that 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 Laliberte 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.

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.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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