Einst courted worldwide, now left as a prisoner, Brazilian football idol Ronaldinho completes a month in prison in a Paraguayan prison cell on Monday. And because the judiciary in the South American country is practically paralyzed due to the corona pandemic, the 40-year-old will have to pay dearly for his continued mysterious entry with fake ID documents.
After all, the responsible public prosecutor, Osmar Legal, informed before the weekend that the current investigation phase continues with the evaluation of five seized cell phones. It is investigated how the former Barcelona star and his brother Roberto Assis, who acted as advisers, got hold of the documents attesting to their Paraguayan citizenship and whether they were involved in a case of money laundering and bogus companies.
Ronaldinho’s ordeal began entering Paraguay’s international airport in Asuncion on March 4. Despite being expelled with false passports, the 2002 world champion and his brother were escorted to the hotel by police escort, but the illegally issued documents were secured the same night. After an initial hearing, the arrest followed on March 6.
Various attempts by his lawyer to obtain bail or house arrest have been refused. Ronaldinho, like his brother Roberto Assis, had been arrested with fake ID after entering Paraguay. According to Ronaldinho’s lawyers, both are sitting in a barren prison barracks of the National Police in Paraguay’s capital.
Ronaldinho and his brother had their passports withdrawn in Brazil in November 2018. The background to this was an unpaid penalty payment of the equivalent of 2.25 million euros. According to Brazilian media reports, this penalty was imposed because it was said to have caused massive environmental damage when building a property in Porto Alegre.