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  HOME | Peru

Peru Ex-Presidentís Home Searched in Odebrecht Probe

LIMA Ė Police and prosecutors on Saturday began searching the home of a former Peruvian president as part of a probe into allegations he received $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Prosecutors said on Twitter that all documents seized in the court-approved raid of Alejandro Toledoís home, located in an upscale Lima neighborhood, would be evaluated by Peruís Attorney Generalís Office.

Toledo, who governed Peru from 2001 to 2006, is currently out of the country.

The AGís office has not yet taken any other measures against Toledo, although the local media has speculated that lead prosecutor Hamilton Castro may seek an order for Toledoís arrest on bribery and money-laundering charges.

Toledo would become the first major Peruvian political figure to be charged with receiving bribes from Odebrecht.

He came under suspicion after an individual cooperating in the investigation, identified by the press as the former head of the Brazilian company in Peru, Jorge Barata, allegedly provided the AGís office with a document in which he confesses to having paid $20 million in bribes to Toledo in exchange for the awarding of a highway contract.

Toledo on Saturday categorically denied the accusations and urged investigators to review his bank accounts, saying they would find they he did not receive any money from Odebrecht.

Odebrecht and Sao Paulo-based petrochemical unit Braskem in December reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice in which they pleaded guilty to paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to government officials around the world.

The companies agreed to pay a combined total penalty of at least $3.5 billion to resolve charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland arising out of those schemes.

Odebrecht is one of the companies implicated in a $2 billion bribes-for-inflated-contracts scandal that is centered on Brazilian state oil company Petrobras and has roiled that South American country.

In Peru, Odebrecht paid $29 million in bribes to officials between 2005 and 2014, according to the settlement with the US Justice Department, a period of time that spans the administrations of three president: Toledo; Alan Garcia, who governed from 2006 to 2011; and Ollanta Humala, in office from 2011 to 2016.

Peruís current president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who served in Toledoís administration as prime minister and economy minister, pledged that his government would fully cooperate in the probe of his former boss.

 

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