SOCCER star Paul Pogba is reportedly under police protection in Italy after he was the alleged victim of a £11m extortion scheme.
The Juventus midfielder claims he was the victim of violent extortion attempts by a criminal gang that allegedly included his own brother Mathias.
Le Parisien reports that Pogba was placed under police protection in Turin.
The report adds that a member of his entourage confirmed the story.
Mathias Pogba turned himself in to the authorities investigating the extortion attempts.
The football journeyman, who lived with Riyad Mahrez before his Wrexham season, is said to have been taken into custody.
The Daily Mail reports that he has been charged over the incident.
World champion Paul made the shocking revelations in connection with a trip back to his home suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, near Disneyland Paris in March.
He says he was held at gunpoint by a gang of extortionists – and one of the plotters was Brother Mathias.
Pogba told police he was confronted with the group, which included friends from his childhood and teens and two masked men armed with assault rifles.
The midfielder – married to Bolivian model Maria Zulay Salaues – then claimed he was forced to accompany her to a flat in nearby Roissy-en-Brie, where they demanded more than £11m to ‘protect him’ .
When the gang immediately demanded £2.6million, Paul tried to withdraw the money but his bank refused to authorize such a large amount.
Radio station France Info reported that the blackmailers had to settle for £85,000 in cash instead.
The elder Pogba has accused the former Man Utd midfielder of paying a witch doctor to curse French team-mate Kylian Mbappe.
Paul has denied the claims but Mathias – who played for a number of UK clubs – labeled his sibling “a so-called Muslim deep in witchcraft”.
Pogba is currently sidelined on the pitch after knee surgery.
However, he could still be included in France’s World Cup squad, reportedly, even if he is only just fit again, due to his ‘special status’ in Didier Deschamps’ team.