Peru presidential secretary denies links to alleged drug trafficking clan

Peru’s presidential secretary Luis Nava, has denied allegations that he has links to members of the Sánchez Paredes family, which is accused of using their businesses to launder decades-old profits from the drug trade.

Allegations of ties between Nava and the Sánchez Paredes’ were made public on Monday by Radio Capital when it broadcast a recording of Giselle Giannotti, a former employee of the company Business Track, who is accused of phone tapping. Giannotti is heard on the recording saying that Nava met with the Sánchez Paredes clan at a sauna.

“You should put a microphone in that sauna. They meet there every Friday to deal with their business,” Giannotti said, according to daily Peru.21.

Nava responded saying he had never met the Sánchez Paredes clan and had not been at the sauna mentioned by Giannotti in two decades.

“I don’t know the Sánchez Paredes, I have never met with them, and I haven’t visited the sauna in the last 20 years,” he told Peru.21. “I am an honorable man, well raised. I raised my children well.”

Giannotti also alleges on the recording that Nava’s children were involved in providing contracts and documents for Dominican businessman Fortunato Canaán, who has been tied to an oil concession kickback scandal known as “petrogate,” daily Gestión reported.

Wire taping by Business Track revealed alleged backroom dealings between the president of Petroperu and private entrepreneurs to grant oil exploration concessions. The recordings were obtained by journalists and broadcast in October 2008.

Giannotti also reportedly implicated in the recordings Congressman Jorge Del Castillo as being involved in petrogate.

Del Castillo, a stalwart in President Alan García’s ruling Aprista-party, was forced to resign as Garcia’s prime minister following the revelations of the scandal. He denied Giannotti’s allegations.

“I reject all links with the petroleum contracts… As such the criminal investigation by Judge Jorge Barreto did not make reference to me,” daily El Comercio cited Del Castillo as saying. “I was called upon as a witness, not as a suspect.”

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