Peruvian prosecutors charge former president with money laundering

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Peruvian prosecutors charge former president with money laundering

On Monday, prosecutors formally opened a criminal investigation against former president Alejandro Toledo. Prosecutors formally charged Toledo, who was president of Peru from 2001 to 2006, with laundering assets and influence trafficking.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.

Peruvian prosecutors charge former president with money laundering

Peruvian prosecutors charge former president with money laundering

On Monday, prosecutors formally opened a criminal investigation against former president Alejandro Toledo. Prosecutors formally charged Toledo, who was president of Peru from 2001 to 2006, with laundering assets and influence trafficking. CGTN's Dan Collyns reports.

Prosecutors accused Toledo of receiving $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.

They allege Toledo received the money in exchange for giving the firm permission to build a highway connecting Brazil with the Peruvian coast.

Speaking to local television from Paris, Toledo denied any wrongdoing. He claimed he was a victim of political persecution.

“I am outraged, my family and I, about this political lynching. I know where it comes from, my traditional enemies,” said Toledo.

Over the weekend, prosecutor’s raided Toledo’s Lima home.

The alleged payments were believed to have been made through Toledo’s associate Josef Maiman, a Peruvian-Israeli businessman. He is being investigated along with Odebrecht’s former boss in the country whose testimony triggered the investigation.

“I think that it is almost certain that we are going to find the names of those compromised by corruption, those that we suspecting now, and perhaps even more,” Gustavo Gorriti, a top Peruvian investigative journalist said.

Peru’s current president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski who was Toledo’s finance minister and prime minister called the revelations a betrayal to the Peruvian people.

Kuczynski is also part of a separate investigation regarding a law he helped pass that lifted restrictions of highway contracts being awarded to big companies like Odebrecht.

Alejandro Toledo could be the latest Latin American politician to fall in a major corruption scandal which has sent shockwaves through the region. But as prosecutors investigate two more former Peruvian presidents and even the country’s current leader, he likely won’t be the last.