Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho still detained in Paraguay over false passport claims

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After Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho was arrested in Paraguay over altered passports, his defense team is asking that he be moved to house arrest as he awaits the outcome of his legal case, according to Globo. This comes as prosecutors in Paraguay suspect that Ronaldinho and his brother Roberto Assis committed other crimes during their stay in Paraguay, Globo reported.

Ronaldinho was in the country to attend a charity event last week when officials found the illegal passports in his hotel near Asuncion, according to ESPN Brasil. Ronaldinho and his brother claimed that the passports were given to them as "a gift" at the Asuncion airport by organizers that were involved with the charity event. However, Federico Delfino of the prosecutors office revealed that they did leave Brazil with legal documents, but entered Paraguay with fake passports. Ronaldinho and his brother are currently in a prison in the capital city of Asuncion. 

The allegations over being involved in other crimes were made by prosecutor Osmar Legal. 

"The law must be the same for everything, whether Ronaldinho or any other citizen," Legal said. 

The specific charge against them is for using the documents, and they haven't been accused of tampering with them. Legal would not disclose what other crimes they believe he and his brother committed, only saying that there are indications that they committed crimes yet can't disclose them due to the active investigation.

Ronaldinho, who is serving as one of Brazil's new ambassador of tourism, has dealt with issues concerning his passport in the past. Back in 2015, he had his Brazil passport confiscated by the country's authorities after he was convicted of an illegal construction scheme in Porto Alegre. Ronaldinho was forced to pay a $2 million fine in order to regain his passport, which he did in September 2019.

Ronaldinho and his brother will be forced to stay in Paraguay until the current situation is resolved. The duo will be allowed to remain at a local hotel in Asuncion, but will be under custody of the authorities.

"[Ronaldinho and his brother] are not being detained, they are still under judicial investigation and they have to testify. Then it will be decided whether they will be arrested or not," Paraguay's interior minister Euclides Acevedo told ESPN Brasil.

Ronaldinho continues to claim that they were "tricked" into accepting the fake passports.

The Brazilian soccer star had a remarkable career before announcing his retirement in 2018. He had 167 goals during his professional career while adding 33 playing for the Brazilian national team. Ronaldinho helped Brazil win the World Cup back in 2002.

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