Monday, October 26, 2020

Brazilian ex-soccer player Ronaldinho granted house arrest in “fake passport” scandal

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After spending a month in a Paraguayan jail, former Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has been released and ordered to remain on house arrest in the country’s capital, Asuncion. The ex-Barcelona man was arrested in early March for attempting to enter Paraguay with an altered passport.

Ronaldinho’s lawyer got a judge to complete his request to review his client’s case on the fourth attempt to do so. There was also a $1.6 million bail payment that needed to get made.

The 40-year-old World Cup winner and his brother, Roberto Assis–who also serves as his business manager–entered Paraguay on March 4 with fake passports. It’s worth noting that Brazilian residents do not even need passports to enter that country. The two were sent to jail after a judge ruled they both posed a flight risk.

Since the probe into the ex-Paris Saint-Germain player’s act began, it has been expanded into an investigation over whether the fake passports were involved in a money-laundering scheme. In 2018, Ronaldinho’s Brazilian passport was seized after not paying a debt of two million euros, and only having six euros in his bank account.

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Fellow inmates at the jail he stayed at were reportedly elated that the 2005 Ballon d’Or winner was staying with them. Though Ronaldinho mostly stayed in his cell, he also spent time playing soccer with inmates and employees. The jail did not allow him to regularly play music, however, which has become a big hobby for him in retirement.

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