Peru soccer chief arrested in corruption probe


Edwin Oviedo, president of the Peruvian Soccer Federation (FPF), was arrested Thursday and will be held for 15 days pending an investigation of alleged connections to a criminal organization, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Oviedo, a major figure in the sugar industry, was picked up at his residence in the Lima district of San Borja under suspicion of links to “The White Collars of the Port,” the name given by authorities to a ring of corrupt judges in the neighboring port city of Callao.

At least four other people were arrested in the operation ordered by prosecutor Rocio Sanchez, which also included searches of residences, businesses and the FPF headquarters, Canal N television reported.

Jorge Chavez Cotrina, the head of the organized crime division in the AG Office, told Canal N that the operation went forward after an appellate court voided last week’s decision by a lower court to deny Sanchez’s initial request to issue the arrest warrants.

Prosecutors in the northern city of Chiclayo have asked that Oviedo be held in preventive detention for 24 months on suspicion of his involvement in the killing of two officials of the union representing employees of his sugar business.

“They are two different cases, with two requests for preventive detention, in Chiclayo and in Lima, though it is true that there is a connection,” Chavez said, alluding to allegations that the corrupt Callao judges tried to shield Oviedo from prosecution for the double-murder.

Oviedo has repeatedly denied having any ties to the White Collars of the Port.

A court is due to rule Friday on whether Oviedo can be held in connection with the murder case.

Prior to his detention on Thursday, Oviedo said that he would neither flee nor resign from his position at the FPF, where he took charge in 2015.

Peru qualified for the 2018 World Cup, marking its return to the competition after an absence of 36 years.