A federal court sitting in Sao Paulo, Brazil has frozen Barcelona forward, Neymar’s assets estimated to worth about 192 million reals ($50 million). The assets include a yacht, a jet he used to travel to Brazil for World Cup qualifier matches and holidays. Neymar has been accused of evading taxes worth about 63 million reals. The 23-year-old is said to have a chance of paying the tax he owes or risk going to jail.
“He can still appeal that decision, but it is a step forward.
“Nothing changed to what was in place last year: if he pays what he owes, the case is closed. Our legislation isn’t too harsh,” an auditor with the federal tax agency told Associated Press.
The taxes were said to have been evaded right from his time at Santos, from 2011 to 2013 but he star denied the charges. On 2 February, Neymar and his father were questioned for three hours in a Madrid court about the player’s transfer to Barcelona. The case was brought by Grupo Sonda, which invested in Neymar early in his career and was allegedly entitled to 40 percent of the total transfer amount. Barcelona maintains the deal cost the club 57.1 million euros (then $74 million). Santos officially received a payment of 17.1 million euros ($18.5 million), with the remaining 40 million euros ($55.5 million) going to a company owned by Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos. But investigations in Spain later showed that Barcelona spent nearly 83.3 million euros ($90 million) to acquire Neymar. Former and current Barcelona presidents and representatives of Santos were also questioned. The Brazilian club also claims to have been hurt by the transfers. All parties denied any wrongdoing.