Barcelona forward Neymar has had his assets frozen by the Sao Paolo federal court yesterday. The frozen assets belong to Neymar, his family and their related businesses and are valued at £31.3m which amounts to 188.8m Brazilian reals.
The Brazil star is alleged to have evaded taxes in his homeland during the period while he was still playing for Santos in Brazil. According to this piece of report in the Guardian, the court claims that Neymar evaded 63m reals (£10.5m) in Brazil taxes between 2011 and 2013.
Although Neymar’s unpaid taxes amount to £10.5m, the judge, Carlos Muta, froze three times that amount for security reasons, which is a preventive measure to prevent the player from selling his assets before the case is settled. Muta also accused Neymar of “omitting sources of income from abroad” in addition to stating that the player is solely responsible for his income declaration, which the judge said Neymar falsified.
Neymar declared assets worth only 19.6m reals (£3.2m), and the court cited Barcelona Football Club as the source of unreported money. Neymar moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2013, and there were murky details of the money involved in his transfer. This led to accusations of tax fraud on the Catalan club as they were alleged to have misled the taxmen by claiming they signed Neymar for much less than the actual amount.
The assets that were frozen yesterday were in the name of Neymar and three companies in which he and his father are the principal owners. The 23-year-old’s total assets were given as 244.2m reals; and despite the allegations and freezing of assets, he will still have access to bank accounts and other liquid assets.
Neymar’s agent was approached but was unavailable to comment. According to another report from the BBC, Neymar’s parents have denied their son being involved in any wrongdoing and defended their companies. They were quoted as saying, “Neymar did not avoid paying taxes, and neither did any of our companies.”
With assets frozen and the player shrouded with controversy, things couldn’t have been worse for Barcelona and one of their key players after suffering their heaviest league loss in seven years when they were beaten by Celta Vigo 4-1 on Wednesday night. Neymar is expected to continue his rich vein of form in Barcelona’s next league game against Las Palmas later today at the Camp Nou.