CHAMPIONS LEAGUE referee Slavko Vincic was arrested as part of a police probe into a prostitution and drugs ring in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Slovenian, who took charge of matches involving Manchester City and Liverpool earlier this season, was nicked alongside Tijana Maksimovic who police reportedly believe is the leader of the prostitution ring.
Vincic took charge of Liverpool’s 4-1 win in Genk and Man City’s home match with Shakhtar Donetsk.
He also refereed Rangers’ Europa League clash with Legia Warsaw last August.
But Vincic has now been arrested after police raided a party at Bijeljina in the Balkan nation.
Maksimovic was reportedly apprehended trying to cross the border with Croatia on a boat that was carrying three other women.
Cops held nine women and 26 men in total, and seized cocaine, weapons and cash.
Vincic, 40, was questioned as a witness before being released.
However others present are facing a range of charges including vice, drug and firearms offences.
Bijeljina police said: “During the search of the house and vehicles used by the suspects, 14 packages of cocaine, ten pistols, three suits of body armour, over 10,000 euros in various currencies, phones and laptops were found and seized.”
Maribor-born Vincic protested his innocence in Slovenian media.
He said: “After a meeting with some business partners, there was an invitation to a party at a ranch to which we responded.
“After the police raid we were invited to an informative interview, where I explained that I did not know these people at all.
“Afterwards they gave me the green light to return home to Slovenia.”
Slovenian referees’ association head Vlado Sajn said: “It is a coincidence that Vincic was there. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“But the stain on his reputation could damage his refereeing career.”