Business, Economics and Jobs

Pierre Duhaime, ex-head of SNC-Lavalin, arrested


RCMP officers raided Montreal engineering company SNC-Lavalin on Friday, April 13, 2012. The company is embroiled in scandals and allegations involving projects in Libya and Bangladesh.



Quebec police arrested Wednesday the ex-head of construction giant SNC-Lavalin, Pierre Duhaime, on charges of fraud.

Duhaime was arrested at his home by Quebec's anticorruption squad and was charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and the use of false documents, reported The Wall Street Journal. Anne-Frederick Laurence, a provincial police spokeswoman, said he will be released later Wednesday on the condition he agrees to cooperate with the investigation. Duhaime was not available for comment.

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"We have just been informed of the arrest," SNC-Lavalin said in an emailed statement to the Journal. "We are not aware of the specifics of any charges that may have been laid against him and are not able to comment further."

Duhaime stepped down as CEO of SNC-Lavalin in March when an investigation revealed he had signed off on payments to undisclosed agents, according to CBC News. His actions breached the company's code of ethics.

Proceedings are also underway against former SNC-Lavalin senior executive Riadh Ben Aissa, reported the Canadian Press. Aissa was arrested in Switzerland on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption. The company, considered a Canadian success story for its 101 years, has been in the middle of a scandal since the fall of the Gadhafi regime in Libya.