SAO PAULO—Brazilian soccer star Neymar was fined more than $3.3 million for violating local environmental rules during renovations at his mansion in the city of Mangaratiba outside Rio de Janeiro.
The Mangaratiba city hall said in a statement Monday night it had issued four fines totalling about 16 million Brazilian reals after Neymar was accused of illegally building an artificial lake at his mansion.
“Among the dozens of infractions that were noticed at the player’s property are the start of an unauthorized construction which requires environmental control; capture of a river course and detouring it without authorization; moving rock and sand; supressing vegetation without authorization and non-compliance of an embargo,” the statement said.
A city hall document obtained by The Associated Press says that the latter charge is related to Neymar’s decision to swim in the artificial lake despite the fact that local authorities had shown up to forbid him from that area due to environmental consequences. “Because of that, the athlete was fined again,” it said.
“The footballer was at the mansion on Friday and entered the lake, ignoring the restriction order made by the (environment) secretariat and local police, which showed up there the day before,” the document said.
Brazilian media reported on Friday that Neymar threw a party that day to celebrate the completion of the artificial lake.
A spokesperson for the 31-year-old Neymar declined to comment on the issue after a request from the AP. The Paris Saint-Germain striker can appeal the decision, which will be handed to police for possible prosecution.
The company that built the artificial lake, Genesis Ecossistemas, celebrated the 10-day job on its social media channels. It said the lake is 1,000 square meters (10,764 square feet).
The 46-page city hall document shows Neymar received the maximum fine for each of the violations he is accused of.
It was signed by the city’s attorney-general and also said the soccer player’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, verbally abused local authorities last week when they came to the mansion to put the construction works to a halt.
Mangaratiba city hall said the illegal construction works cost Neymar about 120,000 Brazilian reals ($25,000).
By Mauricio Savarese