Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba’s brother Mathias has been detained and “placed under formal investigation” on suspicion of “gang-based extortion and participation in a criminal association,” Sky Sports reported on Sunday.
Mathias Pogba, 32, and four others appeared before a judge on Saturday and have also been put under formal investigation, judicial sources told Reuters and AFP. Three of the four were detained.
Mathias’ lawyer Yassine Bouzrou said that his client was innocent and told French broadcaster BFMTV that they were “going to challenge this decision.”
Earlier this month the Paris prosecutor’s office opened a judicial probe into allegations by Paul Pogba that he was the target of extortion attempts and threats from an organized gang.
Paul, 29, told the Paris prosecution office that he had been the target of extortion by childhood friends since March and had paid 100,000 euros ($99,500) to that group in the spring, judicial sources told Reuters this month.
Franceinfo radio said that the group, armed with MI6 assault rifles, demanded 13 million euros ($12.9 million) from the French midfielder for “protection services” stretching back 13 years.
A World Cup winner with France in 2018, Paul Pogba moved from Manchester United to Juventus on a free transfer this summer.
His older brother Mathias is also a professional footballer who previously played for British football teams Crewe Alexandra, Wrexham, Crawley Town and Partick Thistle.
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