Canadian Manufacturing

Police arrest sixth person in SNC-Lavalin hospital fraud probe

The arrest is part of an investigation into how SNC-Lavalin won a contract to build the $1.3-billion McGill University Health Centre



MONTREAL—Anti-corruption police in Quebec have arrested a sixth person sought in the $22.5 million alleged fraud stemming from the awarding of a Montreal superhospital contract.

St-Clair Martin Armitage will appear in a Montreal courtroom on June 18 after turning himself in to police at the airport.

The British national had been sought by the province’s anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, since May 8 in connection with the awarding of the contract to build the $1.3 billion McGill University Health Centre.

The lucrative contract, finalized in 2010, is the subject of an alleged fraud involving former hospital officials and former executives with Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Ex-SNC-Lavalin executives are accused of funnelling money to former McGill hospital officials Arthur Porter and Yanai Elbaz in exchange for the contract.

Armitage was placed under arrest after arriving on a plane from England.

Police said he’ll appear in court on Wednesday—the sixth of eight people to appear before a judge in connection with the case.

He’s facing charges similar to the others accused: conspiracy to commit fraud, fraud and breach of trust.

Authorities are still working to return controversial former hospital boss Arthur Porter and former SNC-Lavalin executive Riadh Ben Aissa to Canada.

Ben Aissa remains detained in Switzerland on separate charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering in North Africa.

Porter is challenging extradition to Canada from a Panamanian prison.

Others who have already been charged are former SNC-Lavalin president Pierre Duhaime; Elbaz and his brother Yohann; Pamela Porter, Arthur Porter’s wife; and Jeremy Morris, the administrator of a Bahamas-based investment company Sierra Asset Management.

Armitage was hired by the McGill hospital authority as an expert on private-public partnerships.

The awarding of the contract was also the subject of a lengthy examination by Quebec’s corruption inquiry earlier this year.

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