Soccer star Paul Pogba’s brother arrested in connection with alleged extortion attempt
MIDDLESEX, England – A British man with alleged links to a Nigerian crime family is being held on suspicion of attempted extortion, according to a police statement.
Paul Pogba’s brother, 21-year-old Lewis, was arrested late Wednesday night and was being held in custody on suspicion of attempted extortion. An official at the police’s Middlesex district said Lewis is a Nigerian citizen.
Scotland Yard said it had been notified of the arrest and was working with the Nigerian authorities. It was not clear whether the suspect, who has dual nationality, had been arrested in Nigeria.
The 22-year-old Pogba played for Manchester United and Italy before joining Juventus last year. He has been a key figure in Italy’s World Cup campaign but has struggled to cement a regular starting spot at Juventus.
Nigerian authorities confirmed on Monday that Pogba’s father, Patric, was among those arrested over an attempt to extort money from an Australian businessman.
The man in question, Australian businessman Peter Frankovic, was kidnapped, threatened and later released, with his family describing him as “disappeared” from Nigeria.
Patric Pogba and his family have repeatedly expressed concern about his son’s safety and said he was living in fear.
In a letter read to journalists, Patric Pogba said the alleged extortion attempt “will not go unpunished,” according to Italian newspaper Corriere d’Italia.
“My beloved son is a victim of a robbery attempt that has been made in Nigeria, to extort him with money,” the letter read. “He is a victim and so is his brother. He is not only a hostage but an absolute hostage. In this way, we have been deprived of our son for many weeks.”
Nigerian Police Commissioner Suleman Aremu has said there were no allegations of any wrongdoing by the company that Patric Pogba owns, the Nigerian Television Network.
Aremu told reporters Thursday that while the alleged extortion attempt was carried out in Nigeria, the man who carried it out “had nothing to do with the television network.”