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01/30/2013 11:49 am ET

Argentina Curbs Trade In 'Soccer Slaves'

LIMA, Peru — From Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi, Argentina’s assembly line of soccer talent is legendary.

The lucrative industry has seen the South American nation exporting pros to clubs of all levels around the world, from minor national league teams in Albania and Vietnam to current English and Spanish champions Manchester City and Real Madrid.

But now, Argentina’s taxman is taking aim at the seamier side of the industry — shadowy businessmen seeking to make a fast buck out of young players while dodging taxes in secretive deals.

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