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$30K bounty set for capture of Peru's ex-President Toledo

By Andrew V. Pestano
$30K bounty set for capture of Peru's ex-President Toledo
Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo allegedly took $20 million in bribes from the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht. On Thursday, a Peruvian judge ruled Toledo should be arrested. He denied the accusations following a raid conducted by Peru's Public Ministry on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Alejandro Toledo

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Peruvian Judge Richard Concepcion has ordered the arrest of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo for allegedly taking more than $20 million in bribes from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht.

Concepcion ruled Toledo, president from 2001-06, should be remanded in custody and rejected a bail request from Toledo's lawyers.

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Toledo lives in the United States and is currently in Paris. He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

The Peruvian government has offered a nearly $30,000 bounty to whomever captures and returns Toledo to Peru, or provides information leading to his capture, El Mundo reported.

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"There is a reward of 100,000 soles that will be paid in any country in the world," Peru's Interior Minister Carlos Basombrío said Thursday, urging Interpol to act swiftly.

Jorge Barata, Odebrecht's former executive director who is cooperating with international anti-corruption authorities, accused Toledo of receiving $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht for a contract to build a highway between Brazil and Peru.

Overall, Odebrecht officials said the company paid officials in Peru $29 million in bribes to secure government public works contracts from 2005-14, which includes the alleged bribes under presidencies of Toledo's successors Alan Garcia and Ollanta Humala.

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Investigators raided Toledo's home in Camacho, Peru, on Saturday as part of a larger Peruvian government effort to probe the extent Odebrecht's confessed bribery scheme influenced Peru's officials and businesses.

Dozens of Brazilian business leaders and politicians have been indicted for corruption, money laundering and racketeering over the scandal in Petrobras, a semi-public oil and gas company. Politicians in several countries are accused of accepting bribes -- either personal bribes or bribes distributed to their political party -- in exchange for lucrative government contracts for Odebrecht and Braskem, another Brazilian firm.

Odebrecht in December agreed to pay at least $2.6 billion in criminal penalties over its role in the massive corruption scandal.

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