Brazilian football sensation Neymar has been penalized with a hefty fine of over $3.3 million for breaching local environmental regulations while renovating his residence in Mangaratiba, a city near Rio de Janeiro.
In an official statement on Monday evening, the city hall of Mangaratiba revealed that four fines, amounting to approximately 16 million Brazilian reals, were imposed on Neymar following allegations of constructing an unauthorized artificial lake on his property.
The statement listed numerous infractions observed at the player’s estate, including initiating unapproved construction without complying with environmental regulations, altering the course of a river without proper authorization, unauthorized excavation of rock and sand, removal of vegetation without permission, and non-compliance with an embargo.
According to a city hall document obtained by The Associated Press, one of the charges stemmed from Neymar’s decision to swim in the artificial lake despite being explicitly prohibited by local authorities due to environmental concerns. Consequently, the athlete faced an additional fine.
“The footballer was present at his mansion on Friday and disregarded the order from the (environment) secretariat and local police by entering the lake, resulting in a subsequent fine,” the document stated.
Reports in Brazilian media indicated that Neymar hosted a party on that same day to commemorate the completion of the artificial lake.
Upon request from the AP, a representative for the 31-year-old Neymar declined to provide any comment on the matter. The Paris Saint-Germain striker retains the option to appeal the decision, which will then be forwarded to the police for potential legal action.
Genesis Ecossistemas, the company responsible for constructing the artificial lake, showcased its accomplishment on social media platforms, boasting about the 10-day project and highlighting the lake’s vast expanse of 1,000 square meters (10,764 square feet).
The 46-page document issued by the city hall reveals that Neymar was subjected to the maximum penalty for each violation he was accused of.
Signed by the city’s attorney-general, the document also mentioned that Neymar’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, verbally abused local authorities when they arrived at the mansion to halt the construction work.
The illegal construction undertaken by Neymar reportedly incurred expenses of approximately 120,000 Brazilian reals ($25,000).