LIMA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Peruvian court on Thursday ordered a pre-trial detention of former president Alejandro Toledo for a period of 18 months for alleged money laundering and influence peddling.

Judge Richard Concepcion Carhuancho adopted the historic decision that places the former president, who is allegedly abroad, in a difficult situation.

According to the magistrate, the arrest warrant will be issued nationally and internationally through the Interpol office, and the term of confinement would begin from the moment Toledo is detained.

The Peruvian judge issued the arrest warrant after the anti-corruption prosecutor, Hamilton Castro, upheld this request before the court.

According to Castro, the authorities have begun to investigate Josef Maiman, a businessman and close friend of Toledo, as well as Jorge Barata, a former executive for Odebrecht Latinvest in Peru.

Toledo, president of Peru from 2001 to 2006, is suspected of receiving 20 million U.S. dollars in bribes in exchange for the contract of the Interoceanic highway linking Peru with Brazil awarded to Odebrecht and other Brazilian construction firms.

Authorities have so far arrested two other officials, including a deputy minister, in relation to Odebrecht's network of bribes and kickbacks.

Speaking to the Peruvian press last week from Paris, France, Toledo said he was the victim of "political persecution" and that he had already been investigated without any solid evidence against him.

If Toledo is detained, he will become the second Peruvian president to be arrested. Alberto Fujimori, another ex-Peruvian president, is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity and acts of corruption.