Bangladeshi government accuses SNC exec of bribery: report

Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:50pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A unit of SNC Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO: Quote) said on Wednesday that a senior executive left the company earlier this month, which was just ahead of corruption accusations by Bangladeshi authorities, according to a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission has accused Kevin Wallace, former president of SNC's Candu Energy Inc nuclear power unit, with conspiring to bribe government officials, the newspaper said, citing a commission report.

Wallace, previously a project manager at SNC overseeing mining and industry projects, resigned from the Montreal-based company in early December.

In a brief press release, Candu said on December 10 that Wallace had left the company and an acting president would fill his position until the board of directors appointed a new president.

SNC said on Wednesday that it has not received a copy of the Bangladesh report and learned of the investigation through the media. The company also said it would not comment on personnel files of former employees, or their reasons for leaving the company.

Attempts to reach Wallace were unsuccessful.

The report is the latest development in a mounting corruption scandal at SNC. Earlier this month, the company said it would suspend payments to its former chief executive, following his arrest on fraud charges by Quebec police.

Pierre Duhaime left SNC in March after an internal probe found that he had authorized $56 million in company payments to unknown agents on projects that did not exist.

Quebec's anti-corruption squad said in November that SNC's former head of construction, Riadh Ben Aissa, faced the same charges as Duhaime.   Continued...

The head office of SNC Lavalin seen in downtown Montreal March 26, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi