Latin America

Money laundering : First Lady of Peru under investigation

money laundering

Peruvian justice announced on Friday the opening of an investigation into money laundering against the First Lady and President of the ruling party, Nadine Heredia. The procedure is part of a broader investigation into the source of funds that financed the campaign of her husband, President Ollanta Humala.

The decision to open an investigation against Mrs. Heredia was taken by German prosecutor Juarez, who ordered a handwriting examination to determine if she had well-validated fraudulent payments between 2006 and 2011. Last week, the Peruvian parliament controlled by the opposition, had recommended the initiation of this investigation of money laundering, based on the report of a parliamentary committee.

The Commission examined the alleged acts of corruption involving the businessman Martin Belaunde Lossio, close collaborator of President Ollanta Humala between 2006 and 2011, before his election. The report called into question Ms. Heredia because of doubts about the origin of the funds it has collected when the businessman was hired as a consultant before Humala reaches power in 2011.

13% of favorable opinion for Humala After Money Laundering investigation against First Lady

The commission suspects of having benefited from a fictitious job and have actually withheld funds from Venezuela to finance the Humala party, then an ally of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Martin Belaunde is in jail in Lima from May 29 and his extradition from Bolivia.

There are a few weeks, though a court had ordered to close the case against Nadine Heredia, regarding facts “already considered” by the courts. In 2009, prosecutors had accused Ms. Heredia not be able to justify the origin of 215,000 dollars between 2005 and 2009, during which her husband had received financing to Venezuelan companies that he always presented as legal.

However, no sanctions had been taken against Ms. Heredia in money laundering, due to insufficient evidence. A presidential election is scheduled for April 2016 in Peru and the popularity of President Humala, a former military nationalist left, dropped to 13% of positive opinions in September.

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