New twist in the Pogba extortion investigation, with videos of his brother

PARIS (AP) — A police investigation into allegations that French soccer star Paul Pogba was the target of extortionists took a strange new turn on Friday with the publication by one of the suspects, his older brother Mathias, of a long series of videos targeting the 2018 World Cup winner, his entourage and his wealthy lifestyle. .

More than 30 videos of Mathias Pogba reading a multi-page statement on camera were posted on Twitter.

It was unclear exactly when the videos were shot. But it may have been before Mathias Pogba turned himself in for police questioning last week. According to reports, he has been in custody ever since.

His attorney did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.

Shooting the videos appears to have been a time-consuming exercise, because Mathias Pogba was wearing three different jerseys.

“If you’re watching this video it will be because my brother Paul Pogba has found a way to silence me,” said Mathias Pogba in the first of the series. “I record this video so that whatever happens, everything is revealed.”

The words “insurance video, kept in a safe place” were written on top of many of the videos. They followed earlier posts on social media where Mathias Pogba had threatened to make explosive revelations about his brother, who plays for Juventus following his departure from Manchester United.

Mathias Pogba and four others received preliminary charges last Saturday and were jailed in the extortion investigation, French prosecutors said.

In the latest series of recordings, Mathias Pogba accused his billionaire brother of abandoning members of his family, leaving them in poverty.

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He also claimed that the midfielder was mixing with criminals and repeated claims that Paul Pogba hired a witch doctor. He did not provide any evidence to substantiate his accusations.

According to Mathias Pogba’s latest claims, the witch doctor is close to former France international Alou Diarra, and Paul Pogba was introduced to him by former PSG defender Serge Aurier.

He said that over the years, the France midfielder has spent millions of euros on the witch doctor’s services, asking him, for example, to help France win the 2018 World Cup or cast a spell on rival footballers.

Mathias Pogba had previously said that his brother had targeted Kylian Mbappé without being more specific. In his latest videos, he claimed that Paul Pogba asked the witcher to “neutralize” Mbappe for the second leg of a Champions League match between PSG and Manchester United in 2019. United had won that game 3- 1 to advance to the quarterfinals. .

The videos were also accompanied by a series of Twitter posts and a statement addressed to Paul Pogba. The first post in the long thread said it was automatically sent by “my bot”.

“That also means that I am no longer free,” the message read.

Mathias Pogba said his life is now in danger because his brother has “betrayed his minions”, who are targeting his entourage in retaliation. Mathias Pogba said that some of his relatives “have already been attacked and shot” because of his brother. .

The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation last month into allegations that Paul Pogba, who scored one of France’s goals in the 2018 World Cup final, was the subject of an extortion plot by his brother and childhood friends who demanded 13 million euros ($13 million) from him. Mathias Pogba has denied involvement in the scheme.

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According to the RTL broadcaster, which cited the report of the police investigation, the group of people took advantage of the player’s money for years, benefiting, for example, from investments worth hundreds of thousands of euros in a hamburger restaurant. RTL reported on his website that the threats and demands for 13 million euros allegedly began when Paul Pogba decided to stop the money at the end of January this year.

Mathias Pogba had a modest football career as a forward with lower-tier teams in England and other European countries.

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Petrequin reported from Brussels.

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