Le Parisien report that Mathias Pogba, who is currently under police custody, has denied any involvement in an alleged kidnapping and armed extortion against his brother.
However, the forward is said to have “quite clumsily” indicated that the decision to film the video which appeared at the end of August, in which he promised “revelations” about Paul, was his initiative. After publishing the video on social media, he would go on to claim that the Juventus midfielder had resorted to a witch doctor to throw a curse on Kylian Mbappé.
Mathias is reportedly suspected by investigators of playing a role in the affair – he is the only link between the four other suspects and would be the only person with access to his brother’s and mother’s timetables and locations.
As part of the investigation – opened by police at the start of the month – it was found that allegedly, a group of kidnapper held Paul Pogba inside an apartment in the Paris area and threatened to leak the contents of a USB drive, namely the alleged curse against Kylian Mbappé.
According to what the World Cup winner told police, two men armed with “assault rifles” and wearing balaclavas wanted him to pay them €13m, including €3m to be sent straight away. Pogba is said to have recognised to investigators that he paid the blackmailers €100,000 after they imposed a bodyguard over him, and that he believed that they were reproaching a lack of financial support from him despite allegedly ensuring his safety.
Le Parisien add that not all five suspects took part in every stage of the alleged extortion scheme. One 30-year-old, said to be one Paul Pogba’s best friends, is suspected of withdrawing €200,000 from Pogba’s bank card while they were living together during the midfielder’s time at Manchester United.
Another close source claims that three of those under custody have claimed they were themselves the subject of threats, and sometimes worse, from other members in the organisation. Some of the retributions – alleged car burnings or shooting through the hand – were allegedly filmed and sent to the mother of the Pogbas, Yeo Moriba, to increase the pressure. Several suspects are said to have deleted several pieces of data from their phones.
The police custodies are expected to finish on Saturday, before likely being put forward to an examining judge and an eventual investigation.