He used a fake passport, was first detained and then placed under house arrest: Brazilian ex-footballer Ronaldinho spoke for the first time about his failed entry to Paraguay. His arrest was “a very hard blow,” he told paraguayan newspaper ABC. “I never thought I would go through a situation like this.”
Ronaldinho and his brother and manager Roberto are among 16 suspects in the course of corruption investigations in Brazil. On 6 March, they were arrested on entering Paraguay with forged passports. If convicted, they could face a multi-year prison sentence.
After a month in custody, Ronaldinho and his brother were released on bail of 1.6 million dollars and placed under house arrest at the luxury Palmaroga hotel in the capital Asuncion.
“Give my mother a big kiss”
“I was totally surprised when I found out that the passports were not valid,” the 40-year-old said now. He had come to Paraguay to open an online casino and to promote his biography. His lawyer had also claimed that the ex-footballer had not intentionally used the forged documents. The passports had therefore been provided to him by a foundation.
Ronaldinho said he was cooperating with police and hoped to be released “as soon as possible.” “The first thing I’m going to do is give my mother a big kiss, who has been through these difficult days since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in her home,” Ronaldinho said. Then he wanted to “digest” the matter.
The former FC Barcelona star and his brother had their passports revoked in their native Brazil in November 2018 for failing to pay fines of €2.2 million. The penalty had been imposed for causing massive environmental damage when building a plot of land in Porto Alegre.