Graft investigators seize Peru ex-president's properties

Lima (AFP) –


Peruvian prosecutors on Monday seized two homes owned by disgraced former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, forced to step down last year over a bribery scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Lima's Superior Court approved the seizure following a request by prosecutors investigating Kuczynski for money laundering.

"The seizure has been ordered for purposes of confiscation of two properties of the Dorado Asset Management Company, which belongs to Pedro Pablo Kuczynski," the court said in a statement.

One of the properties is located near Kuczynski's main residence in Lima's wealthy San Isidro district, where he was placed under house arrest in April following heart surgery.

"The property where the former president is located is not affected. That is a different property," prosecutor Domingo Perez told reporters.

The second seized property is a country house in the Cieneguilla district near Lima.

"Both homes were acquired by the Dorado company of which Kuczynski is a majority shareholder," Perez said.

The properties will be taken over by Peru's national asset seizure program.

Kuczynski, 81 next month, resigned in March 2018 as lawmakers sought to impeach him. Popularly known by his initials PPK, the ex-president is currently serving 36 months of pre-trial detention.

The region-wide scandal has also embroiled Kuczynski's predecessors Ollanta Humala, Alan Garcia and Alejandro Toledo.

Garcia died in a hospital on April 17 after shooting himself in the head as police were about to arrest him.

Odebrecht has been accused of using a slush fund of more than three quarters of a billion dollars to bribe politicians in a dozen countries over more than a decade to win big construction contracts.

The Brazilian company has admitted paying at least $29 million in bribes to Peruvian officials since 2004.