HomeNewsBriefFmr Peru Supreme Court Judge Arrested for Links to $1 Bn Criminal Network
BRIEF

Fmr Peru Supreme Court Judge Arrested for Links to $1 Bn Criminal Network

ELITES AND CRIME / 8 MAY 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Police in Peru have arrested a former Supreme Court judge for his alleged role in a billion-dollar criminal empire, highlighting the network's ability to penetrate the highest levels of government. 

Peru's Attorney General's Office and National Police arrested former Supreme Court Judge Robinson Gonzales for allegedly forming part of the land theft and money laundering network run by businessman Rodolfo Orellana, reported El Comercio. Authorities have also arrested a former police colonel and seven other suspects as part of the same operation. 

Congressman Vicente Zeballos, who is heading a special commission in charge of investigating Orellana's network, said Gonzales has admitted that Orellana assigned him specific legal tasks and that he received a monthly salary in compensation. Zeballos added that Gonzales began working for Orellana after he was dismissed as a Supreme Court judge in 2011 for making questionable rulings in corruption and human rights cases.

Following the most recent arrests, prosecutors stated that 90 percent of Orellana's network has now been dismantled, reported Peru21

InSight Crime Analysis

While it appears Gonzales only began working for Orellana after he left the bench, there is ample evidence suggesting Orellana's network relied on high-level contacts to operate with impunity for over a decade. Zeballos has previously linked two congressmen to the Orellana criminal structure. Orellana's ex-wife and alleged collaborator, Elna Ramos Gallegos, reportedly worked in the office of former President Alejandro Toledo, who prosecutors have called in for questioning because he allegedly visited Orellano's criminal headquarters. What's more, 200 police officers were suspended last September after they were placed under investigation for alleged ties to the Orellana network.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

The type of crime Orellana allegedly committed provides another indication that his network received political protection, since land theft is frequently facilitated by corrupt officials who falsify property titles and tamper with property registries. Orellana is believed to have unlawfully obtained and resold public and private land, and to have created around 50 front companies to launder the illicit proceeds. 

Orellana was one of Peru's most wanted until his capture last November, and had operated his criminal network since 2002, according to Peru's Attorney General's Office. Just a few weeks after his arrest, authorities seized 17 properties belonging to Orellana valued at over $1 billion dollars.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 JAN 2016

Spanish authorities have detained the ex-governor of Mexico's northern Coahuila state on corruption charges, a case that highlights the…

GOLD / 29 OCT 2013

Illegal gold mining in Peru is worth more than twice as much as the country's drug trade, says a top…

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 MAR 2018

Elites in Guatemala and Honduras are continuing their campaign to defang anti-corruption commissions in their respective countries with a series…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.