Mathias Pogba, the brother of footballer Paul Pogba, has been detained and questioned by police after the Juventus midfielder said he was the target of extortion attempts and threats.
Mathias presented himself in the ‘early afternoon to investigators and was placed in police custody’, a source close to the investigation told DailyMail on Wednesday, September 14.
The formal probe follows preliminary investigations and will look into allegations of blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping, and membership in a criminal conspiracy.
Three other people are also in custody, the source said. Temporary detention in France usually ends after 24 hours.
Among the four suspects detained in total in the probe, one was taken into custody on Tuesday and three on Wednesday, a judicial source added.
Paul Pogba had claimed his brother and ‘childhood friends’ were part of a group who targeted him at the club’s training centre in Turin.
Franceinfo radio claimed that the group, armed with MI6 assault rifles, demanded £11million (€13m) from the French midfielder for ‘protection services’ stretching back 13 years, including the time he spent in Manchester when he played for Manchester United.
The former Manchester United star who re-joined Juventus in the summer claims the gang has been threatening him for four months.
Acts of intimidation were carried out in Manchester in April, and later around the Italian city of Turin, where Pogba currently plays for Juventus.
The gang is also said to have taken Pogba to flat in the Paris suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, where Pogba grew up, at the end of March. There, the gang members accused Pogba of not helping them financially since he became a professional player.
Paul reportedly paid £85,000 (€100,000) to the group to ‘save time’, after he was threatened by masked, armed men in a Paris apartment while on international duty – only to see another multi-million demand issued.
The shocking saga began last month when Pogba’s eldest brother Mathias released a video on social media, vowing he would soon make a series of ‘great revelations’ about the World Cup winner.
He said during the video: ‘The French, English, Italian and Spanish public, as well as my brother’s fans — and even more so the French team and Juventus, my brother’s teammates and his sponsors — deserve to know certain things.
‘In order to make an informed decision if he deserves the admiration, respect and love of the public.
‘Whether he deserves his place in the French team and the honour of playing in the World Cup. If he deserves to be a starter at Juventus.
‘If he is a trustworthy person, that any player would want to have at his side.’
Shortly after, the Juventus midfielder released a statement – signed by his lawyers, his mother Yeo Moriba, and current agent Rafaela Pimenta – admitting that Mathias’ videos were ‘unfortunately no surprise’.
The statement read: ‘They (the videos) are in addition to threats and extortion attempts by an organised gang against Paul Pogba.’
‘The competent bodies in Italy and France were informed a month ago and there will be no further comments in relation to the ongoing investigation.’
Mathias Pogba, 32, is also a football player, who had spells in British football at Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, Crawley Town and Partick Thistle.