According to authorities, Neymar, the Brazilian soccer star, has been fined 16 million reais ($3.3 million) by a prosecutor in Brazil. The fine was imposed because Neymar constructed a lake at his mansion near Rio de Janeiro without obtaining an environmental license.
The town council in Mangaratiba issued four fines for “environmental violations related to the creation of an artificial lake at the athlete’s residence,” as stated by the council secretariat.
“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 kilometres (80 miles) 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 a 20-day window to appeal the penalty, initially set at five million reais, equivalent to nearly one million dollars.
Following complaints triggered by posts on social media, authorities discovered multiple environmental violations at the extravagant property. Construction workers were in the process of building an artificial lake and beach.
In response, the authorities sealed off the area and ordered a halt to all activities. However, reports from Brazilian media suggested that Neymar hosted a party at the site and even bathed in the lake.
Despite an AFP request for comment, Neymar’s press office in Brazil did not respond.
At 31, Neymar is recovering from surgery on his right ankle, which took place in Doha in March.
The forward has been absent from the field since February, leading to doubts about his future with PSG.
Neymar acquired the Mangaratiba mansion in 2016. According to Brazilian media, it spans an area of 10,000 square meters (107,000 square feet) and boasts amenities such as a heliport, spa, and gym.