Sean Penn

Sean Penn

Actor Sean Penn has sparked speculation he was involved in a Hollywood-style rescue mission after he announced businessman Jacob Ostreicher had been returned to his native U.S. following a two-year ordeal in Bolivia.

The Milk star has long campaigned for Ostreicher's release after he was detained by authorities in the South American country in 2011 on suspicion of money laundering.

Charges were never filed, and Ostreicher spent 18 months in prison before being freed under house arrest.

Penn has now revealed Ostreicher is back in the U.S. after a "humanitarian operation" was mounted to extract him from Bolivia.

He adds in an email to the Associated Press, "(Ostreicher was extracted) from the corrupt prosecution and imprisonment he was suffering in Bolivia".

Penn failed to provide any more detail about how Ostreicher left the country, but insisted he is safe, doing well and receiving medical attention in the actor's company at an undisclosed location.

Ostreicher previously credited the Oscar winner with being instrumental in his release from jail, saying, "If it weren't for Sean Penn I would be another statistic in Bolivia and I would die in prison".

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