Swiss officials have confirmed the arrest of Montreal-based SNC Lavalin’s former executive vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa in that country on suspicions of corruption, fraud and money laundering, the Montreal Gazette reports.
According to the Globe and Mail, “originally from Tunisia, Mr. Ben Aissa joined SNC in 1985. (…) He worked largely out of Tunisia and also oversaw the company’s extensive operations in Libya.”
As Maclean’s reported last month, SNC-Lavalin, an engineering giant headquartered in Montreal that conducts business in North Africa and other parts of the world, is being investigated for its ties to the regime of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
From the Gazette:
In February, SNC-Lavalin announced that Aissa and another executive, Stephane Roy, had lost their jobs. Both men had links to Saadi Gadhafi, the son of the late Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The elder Gadhafi was killed last October.
In March, the company said that $56 million had been paid to unnamed “agents” in North Africa to help secure contracts for two projects, and that CEO Pierre Duhaime had approved the payments. That included a payment of $22.5 million made through SNC-Lavalin’s office in Tunis.