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Everton flop Royston Drenthe cleared of money laundering after cops find £150k stashed in his car

FORMER Everton winger Royston Drenthe has been acquitted of money laundering... after police found more than £150,000 hidden in his car.

The ex-Real Madrid and Reading star claimed the cash came from his wages as a player after it was found in packets in 2019.

The 33-year-old's lawyers say Drenthe was forced to go bankrupt last year because of the money being seized - and they will "try to get it back for him".

Once-capped Drenthe, who is now with Spanish third-tier side Racing Murcia, was on trial at a court in Breda on Tuesday.

The jury heard police stopped his car at Halsteren in southern Holland two years ago.

Cops searched his vehicle and seized packets containing 176,500 euros (£152,555).

Drenthe said the money was from his football salary, and he was loaning it to a third party via his nephew.

The judge ruled there was insufficient proof to convict Drenthe and so the ex-Feyenoord ace was cleared of money-laundering.

Drenthe's lawyer Joes Blakborn said of his client's bankruptcy: "That was a consequence of him no longer having access to his money.

"All of this only happened because Drenthe didn't want to say where the money came from.

"We will try to get it back for him.  It is his money after all.

"It had clearly come from his profession as a footballer. That is the only thing he has ever done.

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"He loaned out his legally-earned money to a third person. He has never been involved in money laundering."

Drenthe largely flopped in England with loan spells at Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, plus two years with Reading.

The much-travelled wideman is now trying to rebuild his career after joining Murcia last month from Dutch third-tier side Kozakken Boys.

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