High-stakes poker player, Guy Laliberte was detained in his private land in South Pacific. The co-founder of global circus company Cirque du Soleil was charged with possession and cultivation of narcotics.
In a statement, Laliberte said that he was “surprised” having been arrested for growing a small amount of cannabis. “The disproportionate importance given to this matter, which is generally trivialized for someone in possession of several plants of cannabis for strictly personal use, greatly surprises me.” he stated in a professional manner. There is a lack of information and evidence regarding the maintenance of marijuana for personal use yet the Canadian is being further investigated for drug trafficking.
In the poker world, the billionaire has been seen participating in various high-stakes tournaments as well as cash games. Total live earnings of over $2.5 million and a recorded fifth-place finish in the inaugural WSOP Big One for One Drop in Las Vegas, he has plenty of accomplishments in poker including a career best-live cash of $1.83 million.
Laliberte’s non-profit One Drop Foundation teamed with the World Series of Poker to sponsor a high roller series which included several $1 million and $100,000 buy-ins which raised more than $141 million, supporting over 1.6 million people for water accessibility. Also in 2016, the philanthropist made headlines for hosting the richest poker tournament of all time. Since then, he rarely appeared in the poker industry.
The Montreal billionaire was charged on Tuesday and under French law, he risks 10 years in prison if convicted. Laliberte’s lawyer Yves Piriou stated, “This case is a distressing banality.” Cannabis is for ‘medical and personal consumption and nothing else’. However, growers of pakalolo, a Polynesian name for cannabis are not arrested for small quantities unless they repeat the action. Laliberte’s company Lune Rouge emphasizes that trafficking was not among the charges. He has invested about $110 million in Nukutepipi employing 100 people.
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