Update on Corruption at AltaLink’s Parent Company, SNC-Lavalin
Corruption charges continue to dog AltaLink’s parent company, Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin. And, more government officials are commenting publicly on how the Canadian and world-wide corruption investigations of SNC-Lavalin are tarring Canada’s international image.
The RCMP laid new criminal charges January 31 against 2 senior SNC-Lavalin executives in the ongoing investigation into SNC’s close ties to the late Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi (Globe and Mail). Sami Bebawi, former Executive VP of SNC’s international construction division, and Stephane Roy, former SNC comptroller, were both charged with bribery of a foreign public official and fraud over $5,000. As well, Bebawi has been charged with 2 counts of money laundering and 4 counts of possessing property obtained by crime. In an affidavit filed in connection with the RCMP freezing assets belonging to Bebawi, the RCMP allege that from 2001 to 2011, SNC funnelled $118 million to a mysterious British Virgin Islands company that was created to make bribe payments to Saadi Gadhafi to secure Libyan contracts for SNC and to personally benefit Bebawi and another SNC executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, currently in jail in Switzerland. Stephane Roy has also been accused of contravening a special United Nations resolution that forbids citizens of member countries to deal with the Gadhafi regime financially. Roy is alleged to have made payments to maintain a Toronto penthouse condominium owned by Saadi Gadhafi, one of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons.
The Kerala State Government in India has recently initiated steps to blacklist SNC-Lavalin from participating in any future state tendering processes (Hindu Business Line). The action stems from an alleged criminal conspiracy to award SNC-Lavalin an exorbitant contract for the renovation and modernization of the Pallival, Sengulam and Panniyar hydroelectric projects in 1995-97. The corruption case has been before the courts in India for months – including the Central Bureau of Investigation Special Court – and has included numerous high-ranking Indian government officials. Kerala’s decision to blacklist SNC follows on the heels of the World Bank banning SNC-Lavalin last year from bidding on any World Bank-funded projects for 10 years.
On January 13, Burnaby Council discussed a motion to oppose a questionable environmental impact assessment conducted by SNC-Lavalin over a proposed coal expansion at Fraser Surrey Docks (Burnaby Now). Mayor Derek Corrigan provided some candid comments about SNC-Lavalin (see this YouTube link). The Mayor questioned the credibility of the assessment, considering the past and current Canadian and international corruption investigations into fraud, money-laundering and bribery by many SNC-Lavalin executives. He said the multi-national engineering giant “is up to its ear lobes in corruption in Montreal”, and SNC-Lavalin has done more to bring Canadian engineering into disrepute than any other company in the history of Canada. Mayor Corrigan discussed the World Bank’s ban of SNC-Lavalin bidding on any of its projects world-wide, and said if the World Bank has banned SNC why is the company being allowed to conduct an environmental assessment in Burnaby’s backyard. He complained about SNC being brought into British Columbia to conduct a supposedly independent environmental assessment of the proposed coal expansion. He strongly suggested collusion between the local port authority, the provincial government and SNC-Lavalin in awarding the contract to SNC to conduct the assessment. Mayor Corrigan said if people were aware of SNC’s international reputation of corruption, they would not want the company to be operating in B.C. He questioned the wisdom of shipping dirty coal from the mainland to Texada Island and then onto China. We encourage our readers to listen to the full YouTube video of Mayor Corrigan’s comments.
See this link for more information on corruption investigations and charges against SNC-Lavalin, which is building almost all of AltaLink’s high voltage power lines in Alberta. What would Albertans say if they were made aware of this scandal-plagued company operating in Alberta?