Ronaldinho arrested in Paraguay in false passport case | News | DW | 07.03.2020
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Ronaldinho arrested in Paraguay in false passport case

Brazilian football star Ronaldinho and his brother were caught using false papers while traveling from Sao Paulo to Asuncion. They were found using Paraguayan passports that they said they thought had been a present.

Former Brazilian football player Ronaldinho was arrested on Friday after he and his brother entered Paraguay with false documentation.

Authorities said they would not be pressing charges, even though the former Barcelona player had already admitted guilt.

Ronaldinho Gaucho and his brother and business manager Roberto Assis entered Paraguay with falsified documents. They arrived at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos airport with Brazilian entry documents but were given Paraguayan passports as soon as they got off the plane at Asuncion, reports say.

Both claimed the document was a gift, and that they committed the crime unwittingly.

Their lawyer Federico Delfino said Brazilian passport holders were allowed to enter Paraguay without a visa. He did not explain why they did not use their original passports.

Ronaldinho, who retired from professional soccer in 2018, and his brother submitted voluntarily to the investigation. 

Read more: Footballers Ronaldinho and Giggs enthrall Pakistani fans

The pair were reportedly given the documents by Brazilian businessman Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who has already been arrested.

They were invited to the country by a local casino owner, and were to participate in a football clinic for children and launch a book.

Ronaldinho's passport had been confiscated by Brazilian authorities when he was involved in an illegal construction scheme, but had since been returned to him. He had subsequently traveled to the US, Europe, and China using his passport.

Ronaldinho was named the FIFA World player in 2004 and 2005, and was part of the Brazilian national team that won the world cup in 2002.

tg/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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