The Brazilian authorities have stopped a major construction project on football star Neymar’s luxury estate in the state of Rio de Janeiro for violating environmental regulations. As the authorities announced on Thursday, construction has started although no “environmental permit” has yet been issued. The player from Paris St. Germain and the Brazilian national team is now threatened with a fine of the equivalent of almost one million euros.
According to the Mangaratiba municipality’s mayor’s office, the authorities became aware of the construction project on the property, which is about 130 kilometers from Brazil’s second largest city Rio de Janeiro, through complaints in online networks.
They found “various environmental violations,” including the diversion of a waterway and the unauthorized withdrawal of water from a river. They also found unauthorized digging and earthmoving, and unauthorized use of beach sand.
“The next step will be to assess the irregularities found and to impose a fine, which is estimated to be at least five million real, considering the environmental damage caused,” the mayor’s office said. The representatives of the 31-year-old footballer in Brazil did not initially respond to a request from the AFP news agency.
Neymar bought the property in 2016. According to local media reports, the property is over 10,000 square meters and includes a helipad, spa and gym. The footballer’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, was present during the inspection and can be heard arguing with officers in a video released by the authorities and circulated by Brazilian media.