Spartak Moscow's Dutch forward Quincy Promes has a serious problem. GETTY IMAGES

A Dutch court has sentenced former Ajax and international winger Quincy Promes to six years in prison for smuggling more than a thousand kilos of cocaine.

The 32-year-old, who now plays for Spartak Moscow, was not in court to hear the verdict, a spokesperson told AFP. Previous attempts to extradite him from Moscow have failed and on Wednesday judges at the Amsterdam District Court issued a warrant for his arrest. 

In his summing up, presiding judge M. Vaandrager said Promes was an example to many, especially young people, because of his footballing talent. "The suspect is regularly in the news, is active on social media and has fans all over the world," the judge said.

"This is aggravated by the fact that he sought to increase his wealth... by participating in major international drug trafficking. The court considers that a sentence of six years' imprisonment is appropriate," the judge said in a statement. 

The court said Promes, with the help of an accomplice, smuggled a total of 1,363 kilograms of cocaine from Brazil to the Netherlands via the Belgian port of Antwerp in 2020. The footballer will appeal against Wednesday's sentence, his lawyers told public broadcaster NOS after the verdict. The judge also described Promes as a "flight risk".

"The suspect lives in Russia, where he is a professional footballer. The court understands that the suspect has chosen to do so because he does not want to be detained and then no longer will be able to fulfil his obligations as a professional footballer, and sees this as sufficient reason to conclude that the suspect could evade the execution of the prison sentence," said Judge Vaandrager.

In a separate case, Promes had already been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay compensation for stabbing his cousin over a stolen necklace.

Promes scored seven goals in those 50 appearances for the Netherlands national team and was part of the team that lost to the Czech Republic in the Last 16 of Euro 2020, which was postponed to 2021 because of Covid. He has not worn the orange shirt since.

In 2019, Promes joined Dutch giants Ajax in Amsterdam, after a €15 million transfer from Spanish side Sevilla. In 2021, he left the Dutch capital for Moscow, where he has been playing for Spartak ever since.