The Paraguayan Public Prosecutor's Office granted an “abridged procedural exit” on Thursday night to former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho Gaúcho and his brother, Assis, deciding not to accuse any of them for the use of false passports, the authorities of that country announced on Friday. South American.
The prosecutor of the case, Federico Delfino, justified the decision by the fact that the former Brazilian and FC Barcelona striker and his brother and representative, Roberto de Assis Moreira, contributed “relevant data” to the ongoing investigation against organized crime in Paraguay.
Interrogated for more than eight hours, after entering with false passports at the airport of Asunción, Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Roberto Assis admitted the error and were freed from the process, and the Public Ministry considered that both "were deceived in their good faith".
Prosecutor Federico Delfino explained that both benefited from the appeal of the Paraguayan Penal Code known as “criterion of opportunity”, after Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Roberto Assis admitted the facts they had committed.
Two women, to whom the fake passport numbers used by Ronaldinho and Assis belonged, were arrested on Thursday, as were the people who allegedly processed these documents and were accused of "identity abuse and criminal association," said the prosecutor. .
Brazilian Wilmondes Sousa Lira, who also remains in Asunción and is appointed as the passport supplier to the former football star, was the target of a request for preventive detention and also accused of a “criminal association”.
Ronaldinho Gaúcho arrived in Paraguay on Wednesday morning to participate in events to launch a social program for children, organized by the Fraternidade Angelical Foundation. The foundation that hired former footballers to support a child care project said on Thursday that it had no connection with the scandal, although it acknowledged that it hired him through Wilmondes Sousa Lira.
The former Brazilian national striker also traveled to launch the book Génio na vida on the Paraguayan market, which tells his story. He would also be interviewed by a program on a local television channel.
In January 2019, Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto had their passports seized, by decision of the Rio Grande do Sul Court of Justice, which ordered, in February 2015, the brothers to pay compensation for causing damage in an environmental preservation area. on the edge of the Guaíba River, in Porto Alegre.
In October 2019, the fine of 8.5 million reais (1.6 million euros) was renegotiated to six million reais (1.1 million euros) and Ronaldinho was able to recover his passport.
Last February, the ex-star became a defendant in a collective civil action for moral and material damages, due to his connection to the company 18kRonaldinho, which blocked the money of clients who invested in his campaigns.
The lawsuit is filed by the Brazilian Institute for the Study and Defense of Consumer Relations (Ibedec), which identified 150 injured people inside and outside Brazil, including Portugal.
Despite the scandals, the Government of the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, through the Brazilian Tourism Agency (Embratur), appointed the former player as ambassador for Brazilian tourism.