Laliberté, who cultivates cannabis for personal use, was arrested and is being detained in the capital city pending a hearing.
Quebec billionaire Guy Laliberté has been arrested on charges of drug trafficking in French Polynesia.
The news, first reported by the Polynésie Première radio network, was confirmed Wednesday in a statement issued by Lune Rouge, the entertainment and technology company founded by Laliberté.
The businessman, who also founded the world renowned Cirque du Soleil in 1984, is being detained in the capital city, Papeete, pending a hearing before an investigating magistrate. He was arrested as he arrived in the French South Pacific territory.
Polynésie Première quoted a statement from Laliberté’s lawyer, Yves Piriou, explaining that his client is a user of medical marijuana and cultivates cannabis for personal use at his residence on the island of Nukutepipi.
Piriou added that Laliberté flatly dismisses any rumour suggesting he is involved in the sale or traffic of drugs, a position echoed in the statement issued by Lune Rouge.
While best known for the Cirque du Soleil, Laliberté, 60, made international headlines in 2009 when, as a “space tourist,” he visited the International Space Station.