Forgotten ex-Premier League star who won title under Man Utd coach arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling

FORMER Premier League star Ronnie Stam has been arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling and money laundering.

The Dutch defender spent three top-flight seasons with Wigan, making 73 Latics appearances.

Ronnie Stam played for Wigan in the Premier LeagueAction Images – Reuters

He also figured in their FA Cup-winning run of 2013, although did not play in their 1-0 final win over Manchester City.

Stam signed for Wigan in a £2million deal from FC Twente in 2010.

He subsequently moved on to Belgians Standard Liege in 2013 before ending his career with hometown club NAC Breda.

Dutch police reportedly seized the 39-year-old earlier this week as part of their investigation into large-scale drugs offences.

Sources told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that Stam’s parents and girlfriend were also taken into custody.

Cops are understood to have launched their probe following a series of phone taps in 2021 and 2022.

The ex-player’s brother was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in March for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.

He remains free on appeal.

Stam’s parents were charged with money laundering and cannabis cultivation in 2016 after police found €40,000 (£33,800) in cash hidden behind a washing machine at their home.

However the couple were cleared after they and Stam claimed the money was part of the footballer’s earnings.

Stam won the Eredivisie title with Twente, managed by ex-England boss Steve McClaren, in 2010 to land his move to the Premier League.

But he could now face several years in jail if convicted.

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