Asuncion – Former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho is said to have withdrawn the money he used for the bail to be released from custody in Paraguay from an account in Europe, Brazilian and Argentine media reported, citing judge Gustavo Amarilla.
“The origin of the money and the form of transfer were approved by the judge,” quoted the portal “UOL” Ronaldinho’s lawyer Sérgio Queiroz. “If there had been any illegality, the deposit would not have been accepted.”
According to media reports, the ex-FC Barcelona professional paid 1.6 million US dollars (1.47 million euros) so that he and his brother Roberto Assis could leave the prison in the capital Asunción on Tuesday under house arrest. When his passport was withdrawn two years ago because he had not paid a fine of two million euros, only a few euros were said to be in Ronaldinho’s account in Brazil.
The brothers had spent more than 30 days with fake passports because of their entry. In the “Palmaroga Hotel” in the centre of Asunción with more than 100 rooms, you can now follow the further procedure. According to media reports, they are said to be the only guests. You can move around the hotel freely, but are under police surveillance and are not allowed to leave the country.
The question will be whether Ronaldinho’s lawyers will be able to maintain the version that the only offence is to use a fake passport – or whether he and Roberto are involved in the activities of a criminal organization. «It is clear that there were no bad intentions; the two were duped, ”quoted the portal“ GauchaZH ”from Ronaldinho’s hometown of Porto Alegre on Wednesday, Sergio Queiroz. “They thought the passports were real.” The next hearing was not yet certain, also because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Ronaldinho and his brother were caught and arrested shortly after entering Paraguay in early March with false identification documents that they said they had been given by business partners. In the neighbouring country, they wanted to participate in the opening of a casino and fundraisers, as well as advertise Ronaldinho’s biography. Prosecutors in the South American country have filed charges against Ronaldinho and Roberto. The case involved extensive investigations with numerous arrests.