Brazil soccer legend Ronaldinho and his brother may not be charged after they allegedly used altered passports in Paraguay on Wednesday, officials said.
Paraguayan prosecutor Federico Delfino said: “We are looking for an alternative way out of this that doesn’t result in a formal accusation and that recognises that these people were, we can say, taken by surprise.”
If a judge accepts Delfino’s recommendation when they make a ruling on the matter on Friday, the brothers will be issued an alternative punishment, which could be a fine donated to a local charity.
Ronaldinho and brother Roberto Assis, who is also his business manager, flew from Sao Paulo to Paraguayan capital Asuncion, where they were allegedly handed Paraguayan documents “as soon as they got off the plane.”
According to Delfino, the pair told authorities the passports—which had numbers corresponding to other people—were a gift.
They spent Thursday cooperating with Paraguayan police as they investigated the matter, having recognised they had unknowingly committed a crime.
“They decided voluntarily to stay and submit themselves to the public prosecutor’s investigations. He [Ronaldinho] didn’t need to use any other document than his own,” Ronaldinho’s legal representative, Adolfo Marin, said.
Citizens of the Mercosur trading bloc in South America, which includes Brazil and Paraguay, do not need passports to travel between the countries, although they still require a form of valid identification.
Ronaldinho’s Brazilian passport was confiscated in 2015 after he illegally built a pier at his lake house in Porto Alegre. According to Reuters, it was returned to him in September last year after he paid a $2 million fine.
The 39-year-old won the FIFA World Cup with the Selecao in 2002 and played for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in his illustrious career.
Culled from Bleacher Report