Ronaldinho arrested in Paraguay for using fake passport
Football legend Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto have reportedly been arrested in Paraguay for using fake documentation in form of a passport. A third person, whose identity is yet to be unveiled, has also been taken into custody.
A 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil, Ronaldinho arrived in Paraguay on Wednesday to attend a charity event and his passport was discovered by the officials in his hotel suite. It has been confirmed that both Ronaldinho and Roberto are free to move around their resort, but will remain there under the custody of the authorities. Furthermore, they are to report to the prosecutor’s office on Thursday.
"[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," Paraguay's interior minister Euclides Acevedo told ESPN Brasil.
Acevedo further said that Ronaldinho and his brother are cooperating and are claiming that they were tricked by the third man arrested by the officials.
“The documents are being analysed so their authenticity can be established. Two passports, a national ID document and mobile phones have been confiscated,” read a statement from Paraguay State Prosecution Service.
"Ronaldinho and his brother said they had been invited to Paraguay by Nelson Belotti, owner of the Il Palazzo casino, and had been contacted by the representative of a foundation called Fraternidad Angelical about participating in some charity events.”
The passports found in the footballer’s room have their personal information listed as a Paraguayan citizen. The date of issue is slated as January 7, 2020, and is valid until 2025. Ronaldinho, as things stand, is without a Brazilian passport due to his prior involvement in environmental fine in his home country. The brothers were charged with illegally building a fish trap without a license in Brazil.
The brothers were charged with a £6.5 million fine and were asked to not leave the country by Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice. As it turned out though, Ronaldinho was eventually named Brazil’s ambassador of tourism late in the same year.