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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Montesinos hoard returned to Peru
Former Peruvian spy-chief Vladimiro Montesinos [l]
Montesinos [l] still faces more than 70 corruption charges
The Swiss Government has returned more than $77 million to Peru after concluding that much of the money came from corrupt arms deals made by the former Peruvian spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori
Montesinos obtained his money during Fujimori's time in power
The Federal Office of Justice said an investigation proved that Montesinos had been receiving bribes and commissions for delivering arms and military aircraft to Peru.

Montesinos was arrested in Venezuela in June after nine months on the run and sentenced to nine years in a Peruvian prison after being found guilty of corruption.

He still faces more than 70 charges relating to the alleged orchestration of a vast network of corruption while he served as intelligence chief during the 10-year regime of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori.

Arms deals

The Swiss Government froze all bank accounts linked to Montesinos in November last year.

A judicial investigation subsequently determined that the money came from corrupt arms deals carried out by Montesinos and the former Peruvian general Nicolas de Bari Hermoza Rios.

The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby says it is now clear that Montesinos had been receiving commissions on arms deliveries to Peru since the beginning of President Fujimori's regime in 1990, and had spirited away his bribe money to accounts in Luxembourg, the US and Switzerland.

The former spy chief made at least 32 arms transactions and also received illicit commissions on the purchase of three Russian MiG planes from the Peruvian air force.

Now $49.5 million from his accounts is being transferred back to Peru.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice revealed that $21 million was also being returned to Peru from the accounts of Mr Hermoza Rios, who had obtained the money through arms deals and the misappropriation of funds from the military budget.

The remaining $6.5 million is from other, unnamed people linked to Montesinos, while a further $33 million linked to him remains blocked in Swiss banks.


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