Two former SNC-Lavalin employees charged in Ontario with corruption | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Two former SNC-Lavalin employees charged in Ontario with corruption

MONTREAL - Two former SNC-Lavalin employees are scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Monday to face charges under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act in relation to a bridge project in Bangladesh.

Ramesh Shah, 61, of Oakville and Mohammad Ismail, 48, of Mississauga were arrested Feb. 20 and formally charged in April, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Lucy Shorey confirmed Friday.

They have made several court appearances since then.

It wasn't immediately clear why the national police force did not previously disclose the charges against the former employees of embattled engineering giant (TSX:SNC).

The law targets people who "in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business, directly or indirectly gives, offers or agrees to give or offer a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a foreign public official or to any person for the benefit of a foreign public official."

It prohibits people from trying to "induce the official to use his or her position to influence any acts or decisions of the foreign state or public international organization for which the official performs duties or functions."

The maximum penalty laid out in the law is five years of prison, making it an extraditable offence. Judges have the discretion to impose any fines with no maximum.

It was not possible to immediately obtain more details on the nature of the conduct that is alleged to occurred.

The RCMP raided a SNC-Lavalin office in Oakville, Ont., last September at the request of the World Bank, which is investigating a bridge contract that was never awarded in the South Asian country.

The accusations of bribery prompted the World Bank to suspend a US$1.2-billion loan and temporarily barred the SNC-Lavalin subsidiary from bidding on other contracts in the country.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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