Football Legend, Ronaldinho And His Brother Arrested In Paraguay With ‘Fake’ Passports
Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho has been arrested in Paraguay alongside his brother, Roberto de Assis, for allegedly using a fake passport to enter the country, authorities say.
One of the greatest football players, Ronaldinho, 39, and his brother Assis, 49, were detained on March 4 after police raided their presidential suite at the Resort Yacht and Golf Club, south Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital.
Ronaldinho and brother who went into the country for a charity event were not taken to the police station but remain under custody and are obliged to go to the prosecutor’s office on March 5.
Paraguay’s interior minister Euclides Acevedo told ESPN Brasil that;
Ronaldinho and his brother are not being detained, they are still under judicial investigation and they have to testify. Then it will be decided whether they will be arrested or not.
He further added that the pair believe that they were tricked by a man who was accompanying them, who has since been arrested and are cooperating in the investigation.
The interior minister stressed that;
Mr Ronaldinho has a false passport. That is a crime and that’s why his arrest has been ordered. I respect his sports popularity, but the law needs to be respected no matter who you are.
Acevedo said that an investigation was “ongoing”, adding that more information would be shared with the public at a press conference on Thursday morning, local time.
Paraguayan and Brazilian media reported that Ronaldinho and Assis, who is the former Barcelona playmaker’s agent, remained at the hotel under police watch after their arrest.
The brothers arrived in Paraguay on March 4 to participate in a children’s charity campaign and to publicise a new book about Ronaldinho’s career.
It would be recalled that in November 2018, Ronaldinho and Assis had their travel documents seized by Brazilian authorities after failing to pay a fine resulting from a 2015 court case.
The pair recovered their passports in September 2019 – ending a 10-month foreign travel ban – upon accepting a million-dollar fine for building a fishing platform without environmental permits.
Ronaldinho retired from football in 2018 after a career that included a World Cup triumph in 2002 and two FIFA World Player of the Year awards.