THE trial of a former Bury footballer accused of helping launder cash from an £80,000 international fraud has collapsed.

Ex-Shakers star Efe Sodje, along with his brothers Sam and Akpo, were allegedly involved in channelling proceeds from the scam which targeted firms in Colombia, India, Italy and Abu Dhabi over a month in 2013.

Sam and Efe Sodje were on trial at the Old Bailey along with two other men, Emmanuel Ehikhamen and Andrew Oruma.

But Akpo Sodje now lives in Dubai and has declined to return to Britain to be interviewed by detectives, jurors have heard.

The Old Bailey trial went on for three weeks but was halted as Sam Sodje gave evidence in his defence.

On Thursday, Judge Georgina Kent discharged the jury from returning verdicts in the case for legal reasons.

Ehikhamen, 42, of south-east London, Oruma, 49, of Bexley, south London, Efe Sodje, 35, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester and Sam Sodje, 38, of Dartford, Kent, deny money laundering.

A date for a retrial is expected to be decided at a hearing on September 29.