The former President of Peru has shot himself in the head just moments before police barged down his front door to arrest him.

Alan Garcia, 69, was supposed to face questioning for alleged money laundering but has been rushed to Casimiro Ulloa hospital in Lima after putting a bullet in his skull.

The ex-premier’s lawyer, Erasmo Reyna, has confirmed the shooting and described his client’s condition as ‘delicate’.

He said: ‘Right now he’s being operated on. Let’s pray to God to give him strength.’

Peru’s Health Ministry said Garcia was sent to Jose Casimiro Ulloa Hospital at 6.45am local time for a bullet wound to the head.

‘At this moment, the patient has been in an operating room at said hospital since 7.10am,’ the ministry said.

Health Minister Zulema Tomas said Mr Garcia was in ‘very critical’ condition

Local TV channel America reported Garcia was undergoing emergency surgery and was in a critical condition.

It broadcast images of Garcia’s son and supporters arriving at the hospital.

Mr Garcia served two terms as president of Peru, the first from 1985 to 1990 and the second between 2006 and 2011.

He is currently under investigation after allegedly accepting bribes from Brazilian construction titan Odebrecht in return for contracts during his most recent spell in office.

Odebrecht has admitted that it paid $29million to Peruvian officials during three Presidential tenures, but Mr Garcia maintains his innocence and has slammed the inquiry as a political smear.

In a 2016 plea agreement with the US Justice Department, the Brazilian company admitted that it paid corrupt officials across Latin America nearly $800million to secure major infrastructure contracts.

Mr Garcia, who led the country’s Apra party, testified in front of the attorney prosecutor about these accusations in February 2017 and was supposed to give evidence in November 2018 but the hearing was cancelled at the last minute.

He is a skilled orator and appealed to a strong nationalist base to win his first election but governed as a free-marketeer in his return to the Palacio de Gobierno.

Neighbouring South American nation Uruguay rejected his asylum plea late last year.