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Paul Pogba ‘under police protection in Turin after threats and attempts at blackmail’

According to reports, Paul Pogba is under police protection in his native France in Turin.

The Frenchman was allegedly the victim of a violent racketeering scheme involving his brother by criminals, with the group allegedly demanding up to £11.3m (€13m) from the Juventus midfielder.

With his brother Mathias charged in connection with the crimes, it has now been reported by Le Parisien (via Football-Italia) that Pogba is under police protection in Turin.

The report claims that a member of the player’s entourage has confirmed the presence of the police near the player who is currently in the Italian city.

Four other people have also been charged with criminal offenses, judicial sources told Reuters and Agence France-Presse news agencies.

Earlier this month, Paris prosecutors launched a judicial inquiry into Paul Pogba’s allegations that he had been the target of extortion attempts and threats by an organized gang.

The 29-year-old Juventus midfielder told Paris prosecutors he had been the target of extortion by childhood friends since March and paid £85,000 (€100,000) to the group in the spring, legal sources told Reuters this month.

The group is also said to have threatened the player in Manchester in March and in Turin in the summer.

It has also been alleged that Pogba was taken to a flat in Paris where he was threatened and accused of not providing his loved ones with enough money since becoming an established professional footballer.

Radio Franceinfo claimed the group, armed with MI6 assault rifles, have demanded £11million (€13million) from the France midfielder for “protection services” dating back 13 years.

The saga began last month when Mathias posted a video on social media in which he said he would soon reveal a series of “big revelations” about the France international.

He said during the video: “The French, English, Italian and Spanish public, as well as my brother’s fans – and even more so the French team and Juventus, my brother’s team-mates and his sponsors – deserve to know certain things.

“To make an informed decision as to whether he deserves the admiration, respect and love of the public.

“Whether he deserves his place in the French team and the honor of playing at the World Cup. If he deserves to start at Juventus. If he’s a trusted person that every player wants to have by their side.”

His lawyer, Yassine Bouzrou, insisted his client was innocent and told BFMTV, a French broadcaster: “We will appeal this decision.”

Pogba responded to his brother’s first video by releasing a statement signed by his mother, Yeo Moriba, and current agent Rafaela Pimenta, as well as his lawyers.

It read: “They (the videos) are in addition to threats and blackmail attempts by an organized gang against Paul Pogba.

“The relevant authorities in Italy and France were informed a month ago and no further comments will be made on the ongoing investigations.”

The investigations are ongoing.

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