Peru prosecutors raid homes of ex-president Kuczynski

Lawyer of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Cesar Nakasaki (left) arrives at his home, during a raid by the prosecution investigating money laundering, linked to the Odebrecht company in Lima, Peru, March 24, 2018. (Reuters pic)

LIMA: Authorities in Peru raided two houses owned by former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as part of a money laundering probe, the public prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

Both homes are in Lima, the office announced on Twitter.

Television images showed officials entering the properties with boxes, a day after Congress accepted Kuczynski’s resignation.

In another development, Kuczynski’s defense team said it accepted a request from the prosecutor’s office to ban the ex-president from leaving the country.

He later tweeted that he was happy to cooperate with the investigation and would “clear my name and honor.”

He added he was a victim of political persecution and the media spectacle would damage the country’s image abroad.

The former Wall Street banker, 79, is under investigation over bribes he allegedly accepted from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht to secure public works contracts.

The bribes were allegedly paid to consulting companies linked to Kuczynski when he was finance minister under President Alejandro Toledo, who governed from 2001 to 2006.

Toledo is himself accused of receiving US$20 million in kickbacks in return for awarding the Brazilian construction giant a contract to build a road in the Amazon.

Kuczynski offered his resignation Wednesday, a day before Congress was due to vote on impeaching him for lying about his ties with Odebrecht.

He had denied all links with the company until it revealed it issued the bribes in exchange for contracts in December.

On Friday, new President Martin Vizcarra, Kuczynski’s vice president, was sworn in to replace him.