LYON, France, May 28 (UPI) -- Interpol has issued an international alert seeking the arrest of Jamil Mahuad, former president of Ecuador, who has been charged with embezzlement by the judicial authorities of Ecuador.
The 64-year-old Mahuad, who took office in 1998, fled Ecuador for the U.S. in 2000 following a coup. He has denied the charges.
During his tenure as president, Mahuad froze bank accounts in response to a banking crisis in 1999 and replaced Ecuadorean currency with the dollar. His actions reportedly forced more than 20 banks to shutter, and the government filed a lawsuit against him in 2000.
Now listed as "wanted" by Interpol, the former president can be extradited to Ecuador to face the embezzlement charges that are punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
While in the U.S., Mahuad has been a lecturer at Harvard University.