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the end of the government of Alejandro Toledo (July 2001 - July 2006) in Peru,
his difficult relationship with the then Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chávez, reached
the most critical point. In May 2006, Toledo would eventually withdraw his
ambassador in Caracas due to, as he said, a "persistent and flagrant
interference" by Chávez in internal affairs.
the diplomatic rift, and maybe without the presidents in Lima and Caracas and
even the entrepreneurs themselves being aware of this, a business group
continued being an interconnection channel between Toledo and
names of the group were those of Peruvian-Israeli entrepreneur Yosef Maiman and
his right-hand man and compatriot, Sabih Saylan.
June 2006, President Alejandro Toledo, as then established by the Peruvian
justice, began receiving million dollar payments from the Brazilian construction
company Odebrecht, through the bank accounts of three offshore companies
controlled by Yosef Maiman.
in Venezuela, Sabih Saylan ?like Maiman, also investigated and charged in Peru
for his role as an intermediary in the case of Odebrecht's bribes?was the
administrator of the Merhav Group subsidiary. This conglomerate of companies
specializing in the development of large-scale infrastructure projects was
founded by Maiman in 1975, in Israel, and at age 72, he is still the president
and director thereof. Merhav had been assigned the execution of several projects
of the Venezuelan Government.