April 23, 2012 / 1:22 PM / in 6 years

New allegations emerge against SNC-Lavalin-report

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - A Tunisian businessman claims he was shut out of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc’s biggest Tunisian construction project because he refused to pay a bribe to one of the Quebec company’s top North African executives, according to a newspaper report on Monday.

The allegations were made by Wajdi Chortani, the general director of Enco Group, a Tunisian construction and engineering company, according to a report in the Globe and Mail.

A spokeswoman for SNC could not be immediately reached by Reuters. However in a response to the Globe, SNC spokeswoman Leslie Quinton said the company was not prepared to debate Chortani’s allegations in public.

The accusations come at a bad time for SNC, which is already under police investigation in Canada over possibly improper payments. Earlier this month, SNC’s Montreal headquarters were raided by the law enforcement authorities in connection with the payments.

On March 26, Chief Executive Pierre Duhaime resigned after an internal investigation found he had broken company rules by authorizing payments that were wrongly assigned to certain construction projects.

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