Brazil football legend Ronaldinho has been linked to a money-laundering case. The former Barcelona man has been lodged in a Paraguayan prison since the past two weeks after he was caught entering the country using a fake passport. His repeated pleas for bail have been declined.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Ronaldinho’s role is being investigated over his alleged involvement in a money-laundering plot. It is reported that Ronaldinho and his brother received fake passports from a businesswoman called Dalia Lopez. The report also claims that Lopez wanted the Brazilian to participate in a charity event.
Dalia Lopez has contacts with several politicians in Brazil and Paraguay. She is also deemed to be a fugitive. However, investigators are unsure of the extent of Ronaldinho’s involvement in the money laundering scheme. The report also claims that the duo could face punishment up to a maximum five-year jail term if proven guilty. According to law, Brazilians do not require a passport to visit the South American country.
It was earlier reported that Ronaldinho had offered to pay an astonishing €1.4 million after his plea for house arrest was denied by a Paraguayan court. According to Brazil news agency UOL, the jail authorities deem the offered amount way less than the financial muscle that Ronaldinho possesses.
Several reports had also surfaced claiming that his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi was willing to help the Brazilian by offering a hefty amount to the Paraguayan authorities. However, the Argentine later denied such reports.
Former Paraguay and River Plate striker Melson Cuevas visited Ronaldinho in jail. After his visit, he claimed that the Brazilian was "sad" behind bars. He also asserted that Ronaldinho hoped for his release soon.