April 18, 2024

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Dozens of officers involved in operation to locate Rolex watches President Boluarte has reportedly not disclosed.

The home of Peru’s President Dina Boluarte has been raided as part of a continuing corruption investigation linked to undisclosed luxury watches, police said.

About 40 officials were involved in the raid early on Saturday to search for Rolex watches that Boluarte had not declared, the AFP news agency reported, citing a police document.

The joint operation between police and the prosecutor’s office was broadcast on local television channel Latina. Televised images showed government agents from an investigative team breaking into the president’s residence with a sledgehammer, The Associated Press news agency reported.

As government agents surrounded the house in the Surquillo district of the capital, Lima, officers blocked oncoming traffic. The president did not appear to be home at the time.

The raid “is for the purpose of search and seizure,” police said of the operation authorised by the judiciary at the request of the attorney general’s office.

The authorities this month launched an investigation into Boluarte after local news outlet La Encerrona reported that the president had worn various Rolex watches at official events.

Responding to questions about how she could afford such expensive timepieces on a public salary, she said they were a product of working hard since she was 18 years old, and reportedly urged the media not to delve into personal matters.

Attorney General Juan Villena this week criticised Boluarte’s request to delay her appearance before the court for two weeks, emphasising her obligation to cooperate with the investigation and provide proof of purchase for her watches.

He also said Boluarte was obligated to produce the three Rolex watches for investigation and warned against their disposal or destruction.

The government comptroller later announced it would review Boluarte’s asset declarations from the past two years to search for any irregularities.

Boluarte, 61, has staunchly defended herself.

“I entered the Government Palace with clean hands, and I will leave it with clean hands,” she said last week.

Boluarte came to power in July 2021 as vice president and social inclusion minister, and then took office as president in December 2022 after former President Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, leading to his quick removal and arrest.

At least 49 people were killed in the protests that followed.

Critics accuse Boluarte’s government of taking an increasingly authoritarian bent as it staves off demands for early elections and works with members of Congress on laws that threaten to undermine the independence of Peru’s judicial system.

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