According to Italian media, Antony El Pitufo De Ávila, América de Cali’s top scorer, was captured in Naples after a territorial control operation against two drug traffickers. The former soccer player is remembered for dedicating a goal to the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers.
“A normal territorial control operation carried out by the police in Naples led to the arrest of a Colombian drug trafficker (apparently Antony De Avila), who received an arrest warrant for drug trafficking and production issued by the Italian judiciary in December 2004”.
This is how the newspaper Corriere Della Sera begins its report on the possible capture of America de Cali’s idol, Antony El Pitufo De Avila, on the morning of September 21. The top scorer of the Valluno team and representative of Selección Colombia, was apparently captured in a meeting with two persecuted drug traffickers in Naples, Italy.
According to Corriere Della Sera, the crimes for which El Pitufo is being held were committed in 2001 in Naples and Genoa. By then, De Ávila had already hung up his boots for the first time as a professional player, spending more than a decade with América de Cali, a season with Unión de Argentina, two seasons with a team in the United States and finally retiring with Barcelona of Ecuador in 1999.
According to Il Mattino, a Neapolitan newspaper, the Italian police had been on his trail for a few days, as he was apparently seen in the company of two traffickers from that southern region. They claim that the alleged drug traffickers had been prosecuted more than 20 years ago. “A meeting that, in the opinion of the police, should have served to patch up the network of contacts that the Colombian woman had with some international drug traffickers who have an operational base in the Netherlands,” the newspaper added.
But the accusations do not stop there. According to Il Mattino, El Pitufo’s name had been on the radar of the Italian police since 2001, as it appeared in the records of a drug trafficking group that imported large quantities of drugs into the Netherlands. They even claim that Antony De Avila was imprisoned for a short period of time at the time, a situation that was unknown in Colombia.