AltaLink’s Parent Company Bribery Probe Widens
There appears to be no end to the bribery allegations against Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin, the construction giant that owns AltaLink and is building new high voltage power lines in Alberta. SNC’s bribery scandal has now expanded to Algeria.
The Globe and Mail reports, “The investigation focuses on one of the company’s agents in Algeria, Farid Bedjaoui, a jet-setting money manager hired to help secure at least $1 billion in contracts with the country’s state-run oil company, Sonatrach. Mr Bedjaoui, an Algerian consultant who was educated in Montreal and occasionally resides there, is suspected of being a conduit for more than $200 million in suspicious payments, possibly bribes, from multiple multinational corporations in the oil and gas services sector, a joint investigation by the Globe and Mail and Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy’s business newspaper, has found.” Mr. Bedjaoui, the nephew of former Algerian foreign Affairs Minister Mohammed Bedjaoui, is one of several foreign agents hired by SNC who are suspected of paying bribes.
This latest addition to the many corruption allegations against SNC and its former executive members comes less than 2 weeks following the formal charging of SNC’s ex-CEO Pierre Duhaime with defrauding the McGill University Health Centre (Montreal Gazette).
Also, Stephane Roy recently sued SNC for almost $1 million for wrongful dismissal and defamation. The Montreal Gazette reports, “Stephane Roy, who was vice-president comptroller for SNC-Lavalin until he was fired on Feb. 9, 2012, in the wake of allegations of corruption and fraud within the company, says he has been made a scapegoat for following company directives and acting according to its ‘moral standards and expectations’.” A lawsuit filed Feb. 7, 2013 in Quebec Superior Court reads, “The defendant (referring to SNC-Lavalin) had created a corporate culture in which the common practice was to do whatever was necessary, including paying ‘commissions’ and other benefits, to obtain contracts, including in Libya.”
For more information on the international corruption probe into SNC-Lavalin, see this link.