Europe

Neymar investigated in Brazil over fraud allegations

  • 3 February 2016
  • From the section Europe
Neymar of FC Barcelona leaves the National Court in Madrid (02 February 2016) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Neymar now faces legal proceedings in Brazil and Spain

Prosecutors in Brazil are recommending that football star Neymar be charged over four counts of fraud in relation to a tax case prior to his transfer to Barcelona in 2013.

It is alleged that companies were set up as fronts in order for the striker to pay a lower rate of tax.

Officials in Brazil say the allegations against the Barcelona striker cover a seven-year period from 2006.

The allegations are separate from a case heard in Spain on Tuesday.

Neymar appeared in court in Madrid in connection with fraud allegations surrounding his transfer. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.


The BBC's Tim Vickery

The case in Brazil relates to the time when Neymar was still in Brazil and his income came from Brazilian sources.

Government prosecutors - who are recommending his prosecution on four charges of fraud - claim that companies were set up as fronts, and money that should have been taxed at the rate of a private individual was channelled into these companies and subject to a lower rate.

It is very early stages. The prosecutors claims will go to a judge who will decide if there is a case to answer or not. At the moment Neymar is not formally a defendant.


At the time of his transfer he was a rising star at Brazilian club Santos.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Neymar's move to Barcelona FC has been a big success on the pitch
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Barcelona's ex-President Sandro Rosell (left) and President Josep Maria Bartomeu (second left) denied wrongdoing in a Madrid court on Monday

Brazilian prosecutors are reported by the AFP news agency to have also framed fraud charges against Neymar's father Neymar da Silva Santos, Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell.

Barcelona said it paid €57m (£43m) for Neymar in 2013 but investigators say the fee was closer to €83m and the club concealed part of the deal.

Neymar spent an hour and a half before a Spanish judge on Tuesday.

Mr Santos, who arrived at court with his son on Tuesday evening, acts as his agent.

The Spanish case was brought by Brazilian third-party investment fund DIS, which owned 40% of the Brazilian player's sports rights.

DIS alleges it was financially harmed by the transfer when it received €6.8m of Mr Santos's €17m fee and argues it was deprived of its full share.


Image copyright AFP
Image caption Neymar, 23, has won widespread acclaim during his time at Barcelona

Neymar

  • His move to Barcelona FC has been a big success on the pitch. The striker became part of a goal-scoring trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez
  • In 2015, Neymar helped the club win five trophies and came third in the Fifa Ballon d'Or competition
  • He also scored in the Uefa Champions League final against Juventus.
  • But the 23-year-old has encountered legal difficulties in Brazil, where a court has frozen $47m (£33m) of his assets in connection with suspected tax evasion between 2011 and 2013.

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