‘Rolex raid’ targets Peruvian president

‘Rolex raid’ targets Peruvian president

Prosecutors looking into Dina Boluarte after spotting her wearing luxury watches

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte holds a news conference for foreign media in Lima in January  2023. (Photo: Reuters)
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte holds a news conference for foreign media in Lima in January 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

LIMA - Peruvian authorities have raided the home of President Dina Boluarte as part of an investigation into possible illicit enrichment after she was spotted wearing luxury watches at public appearances.

The National Police, including members of the High Complexity Crime Investigation Division and prosecutors on Friday night searched her home in the Surquillo district of the capital Lima, according to a video posted on X by local outlets.

Police broke down the door of the residence, television images showed, apparently after calls to open up went unanswered. The radio station RPP said Boluarte was not at her home at the time.

Officials at Boluarte’s office were not immediately available to comment.

The raid lasted more than five hours, and the authorities later searched the government palace, according to the newspaper El Comercio.

Peruvian prosecutors last week launched a preliminary investigation into whether Boluarte had enriched herself illegally in office, citing her wearing of Rolex watches. The scandal is likely to further damage public trust in Boluarte, who became president in December 2022.

According to an Ipsos poll published in February, only 8% of Peruvians approve of her administration. Allegations of self-enrichment can be particularly damaging in Peru, where previous leaders have faced charges for using their positions to increase their personal wealth.

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

She declared earlier this month that she entered the president’s office with her hands clean and would leave with her hands clean.

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.

Police stand guard during a raid at the residence of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte in the Surquillo district of Lima on Friday night. (Photo: Stringer via Reuters)

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