20 September 2013
Another former senior executive of Canadian global engineer SNC-Lavalin has been charged with bribery.
The charge brought by Canadian police against Kevin Wallace, former senior vice president of SNC-Lavalin International Inc. (SLII) – a subsidiary recently disbanded – relates to the company’s failed bid to oversee the building of the $3bn Padma Bridge in Bangladesh, CBC reports.
Also charged by Canada’s national police, the RCMP, are Zulfiquar Ali Bhuiyan, a Canadian citizen with business ties in Bangladesh, and Abul Hasan Chowdhury a prominent lobbyist in Bangladesh.
Two more junior SNC-Lavalin employees, Mohammad Ismail and Ramesh Shah, are already awaiting trial in Toronto facing similar allegations that they conspired to pay bribes to help SNC-Lavalin win a supervising contract worth $50m for the Padma Bridge megaproject.
The scandal prompted an investigation by the World Bank, which barred the firm and its affiliates from bidding on its development projects for a decade.
Last year police arrested Pierre Duhaime, former president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin, on fraud charges, and another ex-SNC executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, has been indicted by Swiss prosecutors for alleged bribery in relation to contracts in Libya and Tunisia.
SNC-Lavalin dismissed Mr Wallace in December 2012. A wrongful dismissal case is pending. CBC reports his lawyer as saying: "Mr. Wallace maintains that he is innocent and he will fight to clear his good name."
Of the more than 250 companies now on the World Bank’s blacklist, 117 are from Canada – with SNC-Lavalin and its affiliates representing 115 of those, the World Bank has said.