Andina

Peru recovers over US$16 million from Montesinos accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg

Vladimiro Montesinos testifies on Fujimori

Vladimiro Montesinos testifies on Fujimori's trial. Photo: ANDINA / Carlos Lezama

10:26 | Lima, Mar. 15.

Over US$16 million will be repatriated from bank accounts in Switzerland and Luxembourg opened in the name of former presidential advisor Vladimiro Montesinos' front men, after a long process of the Peruvian justice, Basel Institute on Governance Managing Director Gretta Fenner has informed.

Fenner referred to Public Ministry's efforts to recover the money looted from State coffers through corruption, and said they constitute a major positive breakthrough.

"The repatriation of this money is a milestone in fighting corruption, mainly because of the coordinated efforts between Peru's Public Ministry and Basel Institute on Governance," she was quoted as saying by Andina news agency.

Final decision was made on Saturday, in the second instance of a Swiss tribunal, which returns about US$1.5 million to Peru from two bank accounts opened in the name of a Russian national, who was Montesinos' front man.

The money was part of a bribe paid to Montesinos —security advisor to former President Alberto Fujimori in 1990-2000— on the purchase of MIG-29 planes to Russia.

The interesting part about this return in favor of Peru, blocked since 2002, is that a Peruvian sentence on seizure of illegal assets has been executed, Fenner explained.

Likewise, US$15 million will be repatriated to Peru from other two Luxembourg accounts held by Montesinos' front men.

This occurred in the second instance after former advisor's defense refrained from appealing the sentence in the first one, which set the return of the money to Peru.

Currently, Luxembourg's tribunal confirmation to repatriate US$15 million is awaited, following the defense decision and first instance verdict.

About Montesinos

Vladimiro Montesinos was the long-standing head of Peru's intelligence service (SIN), under President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000). 

In 2000, secret videos —which he had recorded— were televised that showed him bribing an elected congressman to leave the opposition and join the Fujimorist side of Congress.

The ensuing scandal caused Montesinos to flee the country and prompted the resignation of Fujimori.

(END) JCB/ASH/RMB/MVB

Published: 3/15/2017
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