A source close to the investigation said, on Wednesday, that Matthias Pogba, brother of football star Paul Pogba, is being temporarily detained and questioned, after the Juventus midfielder said he was subjected to blackmail attempts and threats.
One legal source, who asked not to be named, said Matthias presented himself “in the early afternoon to investigators and was placed in police custody”.
The official investigation follows initial investigations and will look into allegations of extortion by an armed gang, kidnapping and belonging to a criminal conspiracy.
The source said that three other people are also in custody. Provisional detention in France usually ends after 24 hours.
A judicial source added that among the four suspects arrested in the investigation, one was detained on Tuesday and three on Wednesday.
Paul Pogba – the former Manchester United star who returned to Juventus in the summer – has claimed that his brother and “childhood friends” were part of a group targeting him at the club’s training center in Turin.
Franceinfo radio alleged that the group armed with MI6 assault rifles had demanded 11 million pounds (13 million euros) from the French midfielder for ‘protective services’ stretching to 13 years, including his time in Manchester when he played for Manchester United.
Pogba claims the gang has been threatening him for four months.
The intimidation was carried out in Manchester in April, and later around the Italian city of Turin, where Pogba is currently playing for Juventus.
Matthias Pogba (left), brother of Paul Pogba (right), is temporarily detained and questioned by police after the Juventus star said he was the target of blackmail attempts and threats.
Paul Pogba (left) has responded to strange videos of his brother Matthias on social media by revealing that he was the target of extorting £11m from a gang.
The gang is also said to have moved Pogba to an apartment in the Paris suburb of Llane-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 in order to ‘save time’, after he was threatened by masked armed men in a Paris apartment while on international duty – only to see another multimillion-dollar order.
Initial investigations were entrusted to OCLCO, a unit within the Judicial Police tasked with investigating organized crime.
The extraordinary story began last month when Pogba’s older brother Mathias posted a video on social media, vowing that he would soon make a series of “great discoveries” about the World Cup winner.
The former Man United star has reportedly told authorities that he is being held hostage by armed men
Pogba, 29, who won the World Cup with France, said the men wanted money for “protection services” going back 13 years and also followed him to Manchester. Pictured: French midfielder Paul Pogba (above, second from right) in front of a soccer match in France in 2019 with the Florentine brothers (first to Pogba’s left) and Mathias (right)
During the video, he said: ‘The French, English, Italian and Spanish fans, as well as my brother’s fans – and most of all the French team, Juventus, my brother’s teammates and 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 deserved his place in the French national team and the honor of playing in the World Cup. If he deserves to be a starter at Juventus.
“If he is a trustworthy person, any player wants to be on his side.”
Shortly after this post was published, the Juventus midfielder released a statement – signed by his lawyer, mother Yu Moreba and current agent Raffaella Pimenta – admitting that Matias’ videos were “unfortunately a surprise”.
Pogba (pictured) claims two armed men have said they ‘discreetly protected him’ over a period spanning more than a decade, including during two stints at Manchester United, the last of which ended earlier this year.
“It (the videos) are in addition to threats and extortion attempts by an organized gang against Paul Pogba,” the statement read.
“The competent authorities in Italy and France were notified a month ago and there will be no further comments regarding the ongoing investigation,” he added.
Matthias Pogba, 32, is also a footballer, having played British football for Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, Crawley Town and Partek Thistle.
Matthias previously insisted he was “completely alienated” about any extortion attempt against his brother, says his lawyer Richard Arbib.
There have also been allegations that Paul used a witch doctor to cast a spell on Mbappe, which he denies, and says it was made up to discredit him.
Reportedly, Mbappe, 23, contacted Paul and Matthias to try and understand why they were getting involved in their ongoing saga.
Earlier this month, Mbappe said: “He [Paul] He called me, and gave his version of the facts. It is his word against the words of his brother. He (Paul Pogba) is already having some problems and I think it’s not the time to add them. We’ll see how this all goes, I’m totally detached from all of that.
The 2018 World Cup winner (pictured with his wife Zolai Pogba) left Manchester United for the second time this summer and returned to Italian giants Juventus, but is currently injured.
“This case is in the hands of the police,” French football chief Noel Le Graet told L’Equipe. An investigation is underway. At this point, I will not make any further comments other than to show my support for Paul Pogba.
“Paul is a man that I appreciate very much, he is very much appreciated by the entire Federation.
He has always been an exemplary role model for the France team for nearly 10 years after shining in all the youth teams. I hope to see him again very soon, on the field and in good shape.
Matthias doubled down on the allegations of ‘witchcraft’, stating that reports of £11m extortion were false.
“All of Paul’s statements, from the hearing at the beginning of August – before my videos – to his lawyer’s response and the responses of his supporters, are only intended to drag my name into the mud,” Matthias Pogba said in his book. Latest TikTok video.
Kylian Mbappe (right) spoke to Paul (left) and Mathias Pogba about his involvement in their dispute.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet (pictured) has given his full support to Paul Pogba amid reports of a blackmail attempt by his brother and their childhood friends.
So I ask myself: Why rush to assert that what I have to say is only about magic?
Because it would be difficult to talk about the so-called blackmail in this case? So, wouldn’t it be better to say that Big Brother is just a jealous money grabber, willing to do anything to discredit him before he even speaks? Isn’t that what all the miscalculations in my name are all about? No, we do not accept conspiracies here!
Pogba reportedly assured investigators that he sought the help of a witch doctor but with the sole purpose of staving off injuries and not placing any omen on his teammate.
Paul Pogba will miss two months from playing for Juventus after undergoing knee surgery, jeopardizing his World Cup hopes.