(Rio de Janeiro) A Brazilian magistrate has fined soccer star Neymar $3.3 million for building an artificial lake at his suburban Rio de Janeiro mansion without an environmental permit, authorities said on Monday .
The Mangaratiba City Council imposed four fines for “environmental violations in the construction of an artificial lake in the player’s mansion,” the council secretariat said in a statement.
“The penalties amount to more than 16 million reais” ($3.3 million), the statement said, an amount set by the prosecutor’s office in Mangaratiba, a tourist area about 130 kilometers from Rio, where the star of Paris Saint-Germain owns a mansion.
Among the “dozens of offences” noted, authorities cited “execution of works subject to environmental control without authorization”, abstraction and diversion of river water without authorization, and “removal of land and removal of vegetation without permission”.
Neymar has 20 days to appeal the sanction, the amount of which was initially set at five million reais, or nearly one million dollars.
On June 22, following complaints on social media, authorities found several environmental violations at the luxury property, where workers were building an artificial lake and beach.
Authorities closed the site and ordered a halt to all activity, but Brazilian media reported that Neymar held a party there and bathed in the lake.
Neymar’s press office in Brazil did not respond to an AFP request for comment.
Neymar, 31, is currently recovering from surgery on his right ankle, which he underwent in March in Doha. The striker has not played since February and doubts remain over whether he will stay at PSG.