SNC Lavalin’s Algeria office raided by police over public contract
by The Canadian Press
Authorities are investigating $825 million power plant contract signed in 2005
MONTREAL—SNC-Lavalin’s offices in Algeria were recently raided by police seeking information about alleged corruption that has engulfed the North African country.
The engineering company confirmed that authorities searched its headquarters in the North African country on May 27.
A company spokeswoman says police have not provided SNC-Lavalin with any details of its search.
Algerian media say police are investigating an $825-million contract SNC-Lavalin won in 2005 to build a power plant.
They carted away computers, files and other material after locking down the building for eight hours.
The Algerian investigation flows from information gathered by the Swiss examining former SNC vice-president Riadh Ben Aissa, who has been jailed for more than a year without formal charges.
They linked Ben Aissa to Algerian consultant Farid Bedjaoui, who allegedly transferred about $200 million to Algerian leaders to help several firms win contracts with the country’s state-run petroleum company Sonatrach.
Bedjaoui was educated at Montreal’s HEC business school and is the nephew of former Algerian foreign affairs minister Mohammed Bedjaoui.
Police in Canada have previously raided SNC-Lavalin offices in Oakville, Ont., related to alleged bribes in Bangladesh and its headquarters in Montreal at the request of Swiss authorities.