ASUNCIÓN, Mar 16 (Reuters) – The tax investigation involving world soccer star Ronaldinho Gaúcho, arrested for 10 days in Paraguay, includes a money laundering scheme with his figure as a facade and the procedures that will be carried out by this The week will be crucial to determine how aware the former Brazilian striker was of those plans.
The businesswoman who brought Ronaldinho to Paraguay and managed the documents that took him to prison is a key part in a process that could have a turnaround with the expertise from Monday of the cell phones of the idol of Barcelona and his brother.
Ronaldo and Roberto de Assis Moreira used false content Paraguayan passports to enter the country. Her visit was part of the activities of the Dalia López Angelic Fraternity Foundation, a businesswoman linked to local and Brazilian politicians.
López was next to the former soccer player when he left the restricted area of the Silvio Pettirossi airport on March 4, where he was greeted by a crowd wearing yellow shirts with his photograph. The same image was printed on the adulterated passport and on dozens of soccer balls seized from a businesswoman’s property on Friday.
“She could be involved in a laundering scheme and that means that we have to investigate all the other people who were related to that type of criminal, including Ronaldinho. That is why we are firm with the position that preventive detention be maintained,” Prosecutor Osmar Legal, who is leading the case, told Reuters.
“Our main hypothesis is that false content documents were produced, those documents were used (to enter Paraguay) and that eventually those documents were to serve certain commercial purposes or investments outside the legal framework … what we have is the foundation of Mrs. Dalia where he (Ronaldinho) was to appear as a figure, “he added.
The same night of his arrival, the police raided the hotel room where Ronaldinho was staying and kept the passports. Two days later, he was held in a police station that houses high-profile prisoners on the outskirts of Asunción.
López is at large and with an arrest warrant.
The 2002 World Cup champion with Brazil received the passports a month before his trip to Paraguay in Rio de Janeiro, according to Legal. They were given to them by a Brazilian named Wilmondes Sousa Lira, who is also imprisoned in Asunción.
Like the De Assis brothers, Wilmondes had false content documents and his wife presented the WhatsApp messages that he exchanged with Dalia López to the prosecution.
“Now only Roberto’s is missing (…) I have to keep waiting,” says one of the captures that appears in the fiscal folder that shows images of a passport and a Paraguayan identity card with Ronaldinho’s photograph and data. . The passport says that he is “Paraguayan naturalized”.
Two men stated on Friday that they paid $ 18,000 for the “three packs” – passport and identity card for Ronaldinho, Roberto and Wilmondes -, following instructions from López, who would have contributed that money, the legal prosecutor said.
The investigation will continue this week with the extraction of data from cell phones and the result of the expertise will be key to the future of crack. A stronger connection with the businesswoman and her alleged plans could make it more complicated, but if the experts find nothing, the defense would insist on ambulatory freedom or house arrest, which they already rejected last week.
The question that remained in the air since the scandal broke out is: why did Ronaldinho and his brother want to have a Paraguayan passport and why did they use it to enter the country having in their possession current legal documents issued in Brazil?
“They didn’t know how to respond. They said it was a gift, but they received those passports well in advance,” Legal said. Reuters contacted the brothers’ attorneys for comment but did not respond to calls.
“His lawyers said they were surprised in their good faith. But if we think about the good faith of the people, no one will be imprisoned,” added the prosecutor.
(Report by Daniela Desantis, edited by Gabriela Donoso)