President Dina Boluarte’s Peru home and office raided over Rolex watch scandal

The police of Peru searched the president’s house and office this Saturday Dina Boluarteas part of an investigation into the alleged illicit enrichment of some watches Rolex that the broker had not declared her assets.

According to television images, a group of uniformed officers and prosecutors broke into Boluarte’s home in eastern Lima early this morning after breaking down the door with an iron bar.

The agents later arrived at the presidential palace and searched the office of the president, who was there at the time of the operation, the government confirmed.

“The president’s private house was searched (…) As soon as the procedure is completed (…), they came to the government palace with the same intentions,” Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzén told the press.

Authorities conducted the search in search of luxury watches whose origins the president has not clarified.

Although the prosecution has not revealed whether they found the jewelry or other evidence, Boluarte’s defense assured that police found some watches in his room at the government headquarters.

“They didn’t take her, it was checked and they took photos. There were about ten, among them there were some beautiful watches, but I can’t say how many were Rolex brands,” lawyer Mateo Castañeda told RPP Radio.

Boluarte, who assumed the presidency in December 2022, began investigations on March 18 for the alleged crimes of illicit enrichment and failure to record statements in public documents.

According to the press, the head of state wants to send a message to the nation this Saturday.

The controversial Rolex watches

The raids were authorized by the Supreme Court Preparatory Investigation, presided over by Chief Justice Juan Carlos Checkley, at the request of the Attorney General.

The prime minister sharply criticized the operations against Boluarte.

“We consider the measures taken to be absolutely disproportionate, unjustified and, if not unlawful and unconstitutional,” Adrianzén said.

The 61-year-old president was summoned to testify by prosecutors on Friday after requesting a postponement of the trial last week.

“We are sure that in the course of the investigation it will be conclusively clarified that there is no responsibility for the alleged crimes that are being investigated,” Adrianzén said.

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If prosecutors accuse her of unjust enrichment, Boluarte would only respond in a possible trial after July 2026, when her term ends, as provided for in the constitution.

However, the scandal could result in Boluarte being fired by Congress for “moral incompetence.”

For this to happen, the groups that control the unicameral parliament and are the president’s main supporters must support the left-wing minority groups in an alliance that is theoretically difficult to achieve.

“Clean Hands” by Dina Boluarte

The Rolex scandal broke out in mid-March after a report by the journalist program “La Encerrona”.

The media revealed that Boluarte had worn several watches from the luxury brand during official activities since she took office as vice president of former President Pedro Castillo’s government and minister of development and social inclusion in 2021.

The period analyzed by the program extends to December 2022, the month in which he assumed the presidency.

In his only reaction so far, Boluarte simply referred to a Rolex “from yesterday” and said that he had acquired it through the “effort” of his work.

“I entered the government palace with clean hands and I will leave it with clean hands,” Boluarte said in recent days.

As a result of the scandal, the Republic’s Accounting Office announced that it would re-examine the asset declarations submitted by Boluarte over the past two years for possible asset imbalances.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office is already investigating Boluarte for the alleged crimes of “genocide, qualified homicide and grievous bodily harm”, in a case opened last year for the deaths of more than 50 citizens “during social mobilizations between December 2022 and January 2023”.

With just 10% popularity in the polls, the Peruvian president has no bench of her own in Congress.

Boluarte served as vice president until she assumed the presidency on December 7, 2022, after Congress ousted leftist President Pedro Castillo over his attempt to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.

SPRING: AFP

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