Paul Pogba’s older brother, Mathias, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of participating in the blackmail plot against the ex-Manchester United midfielder.
Mathias Pogba, along with four others, have been detained in police custody in Paris after being summoned for questioning over allegations that he was part of a group which attempted to extort €13 million (£11.2m) from the World Cup winner.
According to French newspaper Le Monde, Mathias Pogba presented himself to investigators on Wednesday afternoon and was taken into custody.
Enquiry sources have revealed that Pogba, who now plays for Juventus, handed over €100,000 (£85,000) after being escorted at gunpoint to a flat in Roissy-en-Brie, in the eastern suburb of Paris, in March.
Pogba has alleged that he was ordered to pay ‘protection money’ worth €1m (£860,000) a year, from the age of 16 when he first became a professional footballer.
Pogba is said to have attempted to withdraw the full amount but was not authorised by his bank.
Instead, the 29-year-old paid £85,000 to the gang but filed a criminal complaint after the group continued to press for more money.
Earlier this month, French prosecutors opened a judicial investigation following Pogba’s allegations.
A statement read: ‘Based on the findings of the preliminary investigation, the Paris prosecutor’s office launched a judicial investigation today relating to allegations against persons unknown, including blackmail by an armed gang, kidnapping or kidnapping with a release before the seventh day to prepare or facilitate the commission of a crime or an offence, and membership of a criminal conspiracy.’
However, Mathias Pogba accused his brother Paul of lying to police.
‘All of Paul’s statements, from the hearing at the start of August – before my videos – to the response from his lawyers and the responses, from his supporters, are only intended to drag my name through the mud,’ Mathias Pogba said in a TikTok video in August.
‘So I’m asking myself – why rush to affirm that what I had to say concerned just witchcraft?
‘Because it would be difficult to talk about the so-called blackmail in this case? So wouldn’t it be better to hammer home that the big brother is just a jealous, money-grabbing person, ready to do anything to discredit before he speaks? Isn’t that what all false accounts in my name are all about? No, we don’t accept conspiracies here.’