“Rolexgate” torments Peru’s president

Rolexgate torments Perus president



fullscreenPeru’s president Dina Boluarte has found herself in a minor scandal about expensive Rolex watches and jewels and how she actually got them. Archive image. Photo: Martin Mejia/AP/TT

Expensive watches and jewels and hundreds of thousands of dollars from unknown sources in the bank.

Peru’s president Dina Boluarte has “Rolexgate”, a ticking scandal, on her neck.

Police and prosecutors have questioned her and launched an investigation to clarify whether the jewels and the money have ended up in her possession legally. The suspicions concern, among other things, failure to report them.

When she was first asked about watches a few weeks ago, after the media noticed her wearing a precious Rolex watch on her wrist and additional watches by the same brand, she said she had acquired them through work since she, now 61, was 18 .

But the other day she contradicted herself – the watches she now described as a loan that she should not have agreed to. The person who, according to her, has lent them is the governor of Ayacucho, a political ally.

The jewels, including a Cartier necklace valued at over half a million kroner, are partly hers, she has said.

Last week the police broke down the door of Boluarte’s home to look for the watches but they were not there or in the presidential palace. According to information from prosecutors, the jewels she has are estimated to be worth around half a million dollars, well over five million kroner. In addition, she has assets of almost the same amount, in the form of deposits from obscure senders in bank accounts.

Boluarte defended herself in a televised speech after the hearing, saying that all the accusations leveled against her by her critics are baseless.

Boluarte is Peru’s sixth president in about as many years and not the first to be accused of corruption. But she is expected to be able to stay.