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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:01, June 08, 2006
Cash crunch forces Pinochet's family to rent out home
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Former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet's family was renting out its home El Melocoton (The Peach Tree) to ease a cash crisis caused by court cases against him, state television reported on Wednesday.

"We don't have the capacity to maintain it, but in any case it is not a castle or a mansion," Marco Antonio Pinochet, the eldest son, said in a documentary about the former army chief's illegally-obtained fortune of 24 million U.S. dollars.

Pinochet, 90, demanded kickbacks from weapon suppliers during his rule, according to the documentary, quoting Joep van den Nieuwenhuysen from a Dutch firm that sold Leopard tanks to Chile in 1988.

The Dutchman said his firm paid 1.5 million dollars to Oscar Aitken, Pinochet's chief administrator, as a bribe to make the sale happen.

In July 2004, a U.S. Senate investigation showed that the ex-leader had hidden between 4 million and 8 million dollars in secret accounts under false names, as well as the names of his family members and administrators, in the Washington-based Riggs Bank.

Pinochet's family smuggled the cash into the United States between 1998 and 2000 while he was imprisoned in Britain due to accusations of massive human rights violations.

Source: Xinhua

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