Brazil’s football star Neymar has to pay a fine of just over three million euros for violating environmental laws on his property in Mangaratiba. In a statement from the responsible municipal office, quoted by the Brazilian media, there was talk of a total of four fines.
The focus is on the artificial lake that the 31-year-old professional from Paris St. Germain had created on his property. In total, dozens of violations were identified in a 46-page report by the environmental inspection team and the legal opinion of the local authority. These include, but are not limited to, “catching and diverting river water” and “removing land and suppressing vegetation,” each without a permit. The case was also forwarded to the public prosecutor’s office and the police.
Neymar bought the villa, which is about 130 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, in 2016. According to Brazilian media, it stands on a 10,000 square meter plot and has a helipad, spa and gym. The property is picturesquely situated between the Atlantic rainforest and Sepetiba Bay, which is bordered by the 1100 meter high Tres Orelhas (“Three Ears”).
Police officers and environmental officials in Mangaratiba recently prohibited construction work on the artificial lake after an inspection. According to the authorities, Neymar’s father was on the property during the investigation and was held for insulting officials to local environment minister Shayene Barreto, but was released shortly afterwards.
The authorities became aware of complaints on social media and cordoned off the site. Neymar is said to have celebrated the inauguration of the lake on the closed site. After that, the environmental agency had already announced that the fine would increase. The amount was originally set at five million reais (almost one million euros).