RIO DE JANEIRO: A prosecutor in Brazil fined soccer star Neymar 16 million reais ($3.3 million) for building a lake at his mansion on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro without an environmental license, authorities said Monday. The town council in Mangaratiba issued four fines for “environmental violations in the construction of an artificial lake at the player’s mansion,” the council secretariat said in a statement. “The sanctions add up to more than 16 million reais,” the statement said, a sum set out by the prosecutor’s office in Mangaratiba, a tourist area around 130 kilometers from Rio where the Paris Saint-Germain star has his mansion.
Among “dozens of infractions” detected, the authorities listed “carrying out work subject to environmental control without authorization,” capture and diversion of river water without authorization, and “removal of land and suppression of vegetation without authorization.” Neymar has 20 days to appeal the penalty, the amount of which had initially been set at five million reais, close to one million dollars. On June 22, after complaints based on social media posts, authorities found several environmental violations at the luxury property, where workers were building an artificial lake and beach.
Authorities cordoned off the site and ordered all activity to cease, but Brazilian media reported that Neymar threw a party there and bathed in the lake. Neymar’s press office in Brazil did not respond to an AFP request for comment. Neymar, 31, is currently recovering from surgery on his right ankle, which he underwent in Doha in March. The striker has not played since February and doubts have arisen about his staying at PSG. Neymar bought the Mangaratiba mansion in 2016. According to Brazilian media, it sits on 10,000 square meters (107,000 square feet) of land and features a heliport, spa and gym.- AFP