Peruvian government blasts raid of president’s home in graft inquiry

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By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) -Peru’s government on Saturday blasted the raid on the home of President Dina Boluarte as part of inquiries into possible illicit enrichment and failure to declare ownership of luxury watches as “disproportionate and unconstitutional”.

Police broke down the door of Boluarte’s residence on Friday night, television images showed, apparently after calls by officials to open up and allow them to search for evidence went unanswered.

Boluarte’s house is located in the Lima district of Surquillo, a few kilometres from the government palace where she works.

Some 20 officials from the public prosecutor’s office and 20 police first raided Boluarte’s house and then the palace on Saturday morning, Justice Minister Eduardo Arana said. Boluarte herself has made no comments on the raid.

“Personnel from the palace provided all the facilities for the diligence requested,” the presidency said on social media platform X, adding that it was carried out “normally and without any incident.”

However, Peruvian Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen criticized the raids. “The political noise that is being made is serious, affecting investments and the entire country,” he wrote on X. “What has happened in the last few hours is disproportionate and unconstitutional actions.”

Adrianzen said the president was in her residence inside the government palace and that she would make statements to the prosecutor’s office when summoned. He also told radio station RPP there was “no way” ministers or Boluarte planned to resign.

Two weeks ago, prosecutors began preliminary inquiries following a media report by internet program La-Encerrona that the president possessed several Rolex watches.

The inquiry intended to establish whether there were grounds for a formal investigation of the president.

Boluarte, in office since December 2022, has acknowledged that she owns Rolex watches, which she said she had bought with money she earned since she was young.

Earlier this month, Boluarte said she entered the president’s office with her hands clean and would leave with her hands clean.

© Reuters. Peru's Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen addresses the media after prosecutors raided home of President Dina Boluarte as part of inquiries into possible illicit enrichment and failure to declare ownership of luxury watches, in Lima, Peru March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

The prosecutor’s office had tried unsuccessfully last Wednesday to conduct a check of the watches at Boluarte’s office, but her lawyers said there was a clash of diary appointments and sought to reschedule the appointment.

The inquiry into Boluarte is the latest in a long history of probes into Peruvian presidents and senior officials.

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