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Peru police raid president's home looking for Rolex watches

March 30, 2024

Dina Boluarte is facing questions about her collection of expensive watches and how she can afford them on her modest salary.

Police guard outside President Dina Boluarte's house during a raid ordered by the Attorney General's Offic
The raid was authorized by the judiciary at the request of the attorney general's officeImage: Martin Mejia/AP Photo/picture alliance

Peruvian authorities raided President Dina Boluarte's home on Saturday as part of an ongoing corruption investigation into unreported luxury watches.

A large team of investigators broke into the president's home with a sledgehammer, seemingly looking for "Rolex watches" that Boluarte had not publicly declared.

Police said the raid was "for the purpose of search and seizure."

Boluarte is being investigated over allegations that she illegally enriched herself in office. 

Peru: Police raid home of President Boluarte

Boluarte calls raid 'unconstitutional'

Boluarte said at a press conference later in the day that the raid was "discriminatory and unconstitutional."

She said she respects the investigation by the public prosecutor's office, but not the manner in which it was carried out.  "The measure is disproportionate, illegal and abusive," she said. 

Boluarte's use of various Rolex watches questioned

Boluarte was not at home during the joint operation between the police and the prosecutor's office, which was broadcast on television.

Peruvian prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation after news outlet La Encerrona drew attention to Boluarte's use of various Rolex watches earlier this month.

The outlet pointed out the watches with pictures dating from December 2022, when Boluarte took office.

 Peruvian President Dina Boluarte gives press conference at the government palace in Lima, Peru in 2023
Boluarte became Peru's first woman president after leftist leader Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, leading to his quick ouster and arrestImage: Guadalupe Pardo/AP Photo/picture alliance

Boluarte, had previously acknowledged that she owns at least one Rolex.

When asked how she could afford such expensive watches on her public salary, she attributed it to her hard work since she was 18.

The raid was requested by the attorney general's office and authorized by the Supreme Court of Preparatory Investigation. It came after prosecutors refused Boluarte's request for more time to respond to a subpoena demanding she furnish proof of purchase for her watches.

She did not immediately react to Saturday's raid but said last week, "I entered the Government Palace with clean hands, and I will leave it with clean hands."

If she is indicted in the case, a trial could not take place until after her term ends in July 2026 or she is impeached, according to the constitution.

Peru has had six presidents in the last five years.

lo/sms (AFP, AP)