New suspect emerges in investigation into Paul Pogba kidnapping

According to L’Équipe, the police have discovered new messages exchanged between the suspects of Paul Pogba’s (30) kidnapping and extortion, and now attribute its organisation to a childhood friend of the player who was arrested in March 2023. 

Referred to by the paper as Adama C., the former friend of the World Cup winner was arrested after returning to France from Dubai and was immediately indicted. Adama C. was reportedly present during Pogba’s abduction on the night of March 19th to the 20th in 2022. 

The suspect has always sworn to have been a victim alongside Pogba and stated during police questioning that he was robbed by masked individuals armed with Kalashinikovs. 

L’Équipe reports that this was something that Pogba was thought to have believed, when in his statement to the police, the French international said ‘He was with me during the robbery, next to me. It’s true, he was a victim like me in this situation.’ 

However, after the discovery of the messages, the police now suspect that Adama C. played a part in organising the kidnapping of the player. The police allege in their report that ‘We can think that Adama C. manoeuvred to organise the kidnapping of Paul Pogba.’

‘You have to hit hard!’ 

During conversations with the police, Adama C. has consistently maintained his innocence stating that he did not know the perpetrators behind the crime, ‘I don’t know them, I didn’t know they were there, they appeared.’ However, the police allege that the events of the kidnapping took place in an apartment that was rented on his behalf. 

Adama C. explained to the investigators that he was only present that evening to attend a ‘Meeting’, during which it’s alleged that Pogba had to tell his friends about his personal issues and explain why he was going to have to ‘Cut ties’ with them. 

In WhatsApp messages and voicemails, found by the police on the suspect’s phone, it is thought by the investigators that Adama C. alongside Mamadou M. (another friend of the player who has been indicted for their alleged involvement in the case) began to develop a conspiracy. 

L’Equipe reports that the two men’s conversation appeared to be considering the best way to demand €25 million from Pogba without giving off the impression to their childhood friend that they were attempting to steal from him or ‘Hagra’ (Arabic slang for taking advantage of or bullying someone). 

Adama C. is reported to have written to Mamadou M. that ‘You have to go in hard!’ when discussing how to approach their friend, while Mamadou M. allegedly suggested that it would be better for them to ask the player for a million each, and to offer to manage his image rights, or even to represent the player in a possible transfer. 

The two suspects are then alleged to have agreed to call friends about their idea and to set in motion a plan where ‘Everyone plays their part.’ They are said to have specified that everything must happen within ten days, which happened to be the exact date that Pogba was kidnapped. 

Adama C. is alleged to have given instructions to his brother, nicknamed ‘Boub’s’, who was thought to have been very close to the Pogba family, telling him that he would have to go and pick up the footballer by car. The night of the incident arrived, and according to the account provided by Pogba, €13 million was demanded from the player by the hooded and unidentified criminals. 

The kidnapping and extortion of Paul Pogba remains an ongoing investigation.

According to L’Équipe, the investigation believes that these messages appear to cast doubts on the suspect’s story that there was a second team of experienced and heavily armed criminals who were in charge, and put pressure on all involved. 

The lawyer for Adama C. has yet to provide comment on the recent developments in the case against his client. However, Mamadou M.’s lawyer stated ‘These elements have no impact on the position of my client who firmly contests any participation in an extortion attempt committed against Paul Pogba.’ 

The investigation into the identity of those responsible for the kidnapping and extortion of Paul Pogba is ongoing. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland 

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