The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Rio de Janeiro police investigate Flamengo player for alleged ties to criminal militia group

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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian authorities say they will interrogate Flamengo midfielder Luiz Antonio as part of an investigation into criminal militia groups in Rio de Janeiro.

Antonio, who has not been charged of any wrongdoing, is scheduled to talk to investigators Wednesday for his alleged ties to militia members in the city.

Police say the 23-year-old player, who has been playing professionally since 2011, allegedly participated in a party offered by militia members and gave a car to one of them.

Militias have become common in Rio and have a growing presence especially in poorer areas and slums, where they run illegal rackets for electricity and cable TV hook ups, along with van services. They are largely made up of former or current firefighters, police officers, private security and off-duty prison guards.

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