French prosecutor Laure Picot said on Friday that the French capital's prosecutorial authorities had opened a formal judicial investigation into the allegations of French football player Paul Pogba, who said he had been subjected to extortion attempts and had received threats from an organized crime gang.
The prosecutor added, in a statement, that the authorities had launched the official judicial investigation after preliminary investigations, and that it would address allegations of extortion by an armed gang, kidnapping, and participation in the preparation of criminal activities, according to "Reuters".
A source close to the preliminary investigation told Reuters last Wednesday that midfielder Pogba had been the target of extortion by childhood friends since last March, and that he had paid 100,000 euros, equivalent to 99,510 dollars, to that group last spring.
Pogba, who returned to Juventus in July after leaving Manchester United, issued a statement last Sunday, saying that he was a victim of extortion attempts by an organized gang and that the authorities in Italy and France were investigating the matter.
The French star, the 2018 world champion, reacted the day after a video was posted on social media in which his older brother, Matthias, 32, said he would reveal "big things" about Paul.
"Mathias Pogba's recent statements on social media are unfortunately not surprising, as they are added to the threats and extortion attempts by an organized gang against Paul Pogba," the lawyers for the French player and his mother said in a statement.
"The competent authorities in Italy and France were notified a month ago and there will be no further comments regarding the ongoing investigation," they added.
In a video clip posted on social networking sites in four languages (French, Italian, English and Spanish), Matthias Pogba, who is also a professional footballer, announced, on Saturday, "revealing big things about his brother, Paul Pogba, and his agent, Rafaela Pimenta," who succeeded the late Mino Raiola.
Paul's brother stressed that "the whole world" just as his club Juventus and "sponsors" deserve to know certain things in order to make a decision based on facts to see if Paul really deserves recognition, respect, his place in the France national team and the honor of playing in the World Cup and that Skon is an essential at Juventus And if he is a reliable person," according to "AFP."
He concluded that "all this may constitute resounding surprises," without further details about the nature of what he will reveal.
According to two sources close to Pogba's family contacted by AFP, Paul is required to pay large sums of money if he wants to avoid publishing the alleged videos.
The French prosecutor told Reuters, last Monday, that the preliminary investigations into the case are being carried out by a unit of the judicial police, which is in charge of investigations related to organized crime.