Peru edges closer to clawing back $50 mln from Fujimori arms deals

By John Miller

ZURICH, March 17 (Reuters) – Peru is moving closer to recovering up to $50 million linked to corrupt arms deals involving ex-president Alberto Fujimori, according to a Swiss-based group assisting its efforts.

It said about a third of that sum could be returned in the coming months, starting as early as April, once courts in Switzerland and Luxembourg resolve disputes over frozen bank accounts.

Peru is trying to wrest back the funds in an ongoing 15-year-old corruption probe against Fujimori and his spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, who are both in jail for corruption.

They are suspected of getting “commissions” from weapons dealers that were secretly deposited into overseas bank accounts.

Peru has already recovered about $93 million linked to the 1990s arms deals, which included a purchase of Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, said the Basel Institute on Governance, the legal assistance group helping Peru.

Another $17 million — some $1.5 million from Swiss accounts and $15.5 million from Luxembourg — could be returned in the next few months, while recovery of $33 million…