Lima, Peru — Peru’s Public Ministry and National Police on August 23 detained nine members of the Army and one civilian, accusing them of stealing fuel intended for the military, a case known as “The Sentinels.”
During the operation carried out in Piura and other regions, officials from the Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Interior (Digimin) arrested Brigadier General Henry Acosta. Acosta is Chief of Staff of the 1st Division of the Army, based in Piura, in northern Peru.
Detentions were also ordered for a lieutenant colonel, three individuals with the rank of major, one captain, three technicians, and a civilian. Currently, the individuals involved are under investigation for alleged illicit activities linked to the crime of collusion against the Peruvian State. All individuals will reportedly be held for seven days of pre-trial investigation.
On August 23, Prosecutor Reynaldo Carrillo took measures not only for the pretrial detention of the 10 individuals but also for the inspection and unsealing of 18 residences located in the cities of Chiclayo, Piura, Cajamarca, La Libertad, and Lima.
The operation also led to the seizure of four laptops, three cell phones, and an amount exceeding USD $2,300.
The ten detained are facing accusations of alleged irregularities in the process of acquiring fuel during the municipal and regional elections of October and December 2022.
It is estimated that the economic damage caused to the State and the Army exceeds 100,000 soles (equivalent to USD $27,000). The judicial record provides details about the modus operandi of the alleged fraudulent actions, which involved cash payments and invalid maneuvers to support the receipt and transportation of the fuel.
Through an official statement, the Peruvian Army assured that it is fully cooperating with authorities “to facilitate the corresponding proceedings.”
“The Army of Peru reaffirms its commitment to operate with honesty, transparency, and respect for the regulations and laws of the Peruvian State,” read the statement released on August 23.