Barreto gets back passport, can travel out of IndiaApril 7th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by admin
Kolkata, April 7 (IANS) Brazilian footballer Jose Ramirez Barreto, who was arrested at the Kolkata airport last month for carrying undeclared cash, got some reprieve when a West Bengal court Monday restored his passport to him. Barreto was also allowed to travel abroad on condition that he appears before the court May 25 to facilitate legal proceedings.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Bandana Roy in Kolkata’s adjoining North 24-Parganas district passed the order.
“After 17 difficult days, finally I am relieved. It’s a good day for me but I hope my ordeal would be over soon and then I will give a broad smile,” Barreto told a press conference here.
He said: “My wife called me up this (Monday) morning and asked me what’s going on here. I told her that I would be with my family in Brazil as soon as possible.”
Barreto was arrested from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport here March 30 on the charges of travelling with undeclared cash totalling $20,500.
He was detained by the customs and later granted bail on a security amount of Rs.10,000.
“I thank all my fans, my club officials and the friends in the media for the way they stood by me. It was a bad time for me and I hope that phase is over now. God has given me strength,” he said.
The 31-year-old striker, who plays for India’s premier Mohun Bagan Atheletic Club, enjoys an iconic status in Kolkata. The influential playmaker joined the Kolkata giants and reportedly gets Rs.6 million annually, making him the highest paid overseas player.
Mohun Bagan Club general secretary Anjan Mitra said Barreto would leave for Brazil in next two days.
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