Peruvian president’s brother arrested in Rolex scandal probe

By Thomson Reuters May 10, 2024 | 3:06 PM

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian police detained President Dina Boluarte’s brother and lawyer on Friday amid a probe into alleged influence peddling and illicit enrichment that stems from questions about how she got several Rolex watches and pricey designer jewelry seemingly at odds with her modest public salary.

Authorities searched over 20 properties, including the Lima home of Boluarte’s brother Nicanor Boluarte, who is accused of leading a criminal organization that influences the appointment of people in high positions on power.

Across town, the team of prosecutors and police raided the home of Boluarte’s lawyer Mateo Castaneda, who is advising her in the case of alleged illicit enrichment involving Rolex watches and jewelry. Boluarte has denied the accusations.

President Boluarte said at a forum on democracy that she trusts Peru’s justice system, but did not make reference to the arrests.

“We will not be distracted by minor matters, we believe in justice, we believe in the reasonableness of those who administer justice in the country, and in that regard the government will continue to bet on democracy and to respect the constitution,” she said.

Peru’s Justice department said on X it had ordered the “preliminary detention of Nicanor Boluarte Zegarra and others for the term of ten days, part of an investigation for criminal organization.”

Nicanor Boluarte, in the middle of a swarm of journalists as he was transferred by the police to a judicial unit, denied the allegations. “I am innocent… I deny absolutely everything,” he said.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Alistair Bell)