World Football

Neymar's Yacht, Private Jet Reportedly Impounded as Part of Tax Case

FC Barcelona's Neymar reacts after scoring against Celta Vigo during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2016

A federal court in Brazil has reportedly ordered Barcelona forward Neymar to relinquish €43 million worth of personal property, including a luxury yacht and a private jet, per a Monday report by Spanish paper Marca, citing Brazilian media reports.        

The Brazilian government alleges Neymar failed to pay proper taxes when he was with Santos from 2011 to 2013.

CNN's Shasta Darlington reported on Sept. 26 that a Brazilian judge froze "assets worth 188.8 million reais ($47.6 million) belonging to the Barcelona striker, his family and related businesses," alleging he failed to declare income accrued from sources abroad, including payments from Barcelona.

In November, Neymar's father, Neymar Sr., told a Spanish radio station his son's tax problems could result in him leaving Barca altogether, per the Press Association (via the Guardian): "We've begun contract renewal talks but there are outstanding issues that concern us and which need to be resolved. Since we arrived to Spain we have been under attack [from the tax office] and it has extended to Brazil. For the last two and a half years, we have had to defend ourselves from accusations."

In January, a Brazilian court fined Neymar and his father €100,000 over unpaid taxes dating back to 2007-08.

The 24-year-old's transfer to Barcelona was also completed under murky circumstances, playing a large role in the ouster of club president Sandro Rosell. The club had to pay the Spanish government £11.2 million in order to settle a tax-fraud case linked to Neymar's move.

Coincidentally, Neymar isn't even the first Barca star to have run into trouble with the law over alleged unpaid taxes. Spanish authorities charged Lionel Messi and his father with tax fraud in October, with the trial set to begin in May. Javier Mascherano was also fined and sentenced to prison time last month; however, he'll likely pay an additional fine in lieu of serving his sentence.

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