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DEA Informant Blows Up Investigation Into Leading Peruvian Presidential Candidate

REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

A DEA informant told Univision and America TV in a report Sunday that Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori was involved in money laundering as the DEA looks into a top campaign staffer.

The joint Univision and America TV is initially based on interviews with a Peruvian pilot, Jesus F. Vasquez, who claims he was a DEA informant. Vasquez says that he was asked to wear a wire when dealing with Peruvian Congressman Joaquin Ramirez Gamarra who is the Secretary General of Fujimori’s political party, Fuerza Popular, which is Spanish for Popular Strength. Ramirez Gamarra is a leading figure in Fujimori’s campaign.

According to Vasquez, in a Miami meeting where Ramirez Gamarra was looking to buy a plane, he bragged to the pilot that he “laundered $15 million for the Chinese woman in the 2011 election,” in reference to Fujimori who is of Japanese descent. Vasquez stated in the report that he asked the Congressman if he was referring to Keiko Fujimori to which Ramirez Gamarra replied “yes.” Ramirez Gamarra claimed to have laundered the questionable cash through several gas stations in Peru.

In the report, Univision and America TV get DEA press person Anne-Judith Lambert to confirm on the record that “this is a sensitive investigation and its ongoing,” with Adolphus P. Wright, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Miami Division standing next to her. Lambert clarified, stating to the Associated Press that “the agency never said Fujimori was a target of any investigation. The DEA did not say whether it was investigating Ramirez.”

Towards the end of the report, Vasquez is seen handing a letter to Lambert and Wright; in the letter, Vasquez asks the DEA to let him know how the investigation pans out. Neither Fujimori nor Ramirez Gamarra responded to requests for comment from Univision and America TV.

When contacted by The Daily Caller News Foundation, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne stated that he “cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”

Ramirez Gamarra started off in life selling bus tickets before becoming a wealthy businessman and then a Congressman according to the report. The Congressman states in a clip of an interview during the report that, “I respect the law and I work according to the law.”

It was reported by Peruvian daily El Comercio on Tuesday that the Public Prosecutor for Cases of Illicit Drug Trafficking is evaluating looking into Ramirez Gamarra’s activities. According to El Comercio, a Peruvian prosecutor has reached out to the DEA for information regarding their investigation.

Fujimori is the daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori Sr. served from 1990 to 2000 and is in prison for crimes against humanity and embezzlement. Keiko is running against former U.S. citizen Pedro Pablo Kuczynski who gave up his U.S. citizenship in November to avoid controversy over his dual citizenship. Peruvians go to the polls for the second round of voting on June 5.

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