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Former SNC-Lavalin exec. sentenced on fraud and corruption charges

Former SNC-Lavaline executive Sami Bebawi,73, was found guilty of corruption and fraud charges related to the engineering giant’s shady ties in Libya.
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Former SNC-Lavaline executive Sami Bebawi, 73, was found guilty of corruption and fraud charges related to the engineering giant’s ties with former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

A Quebec Superior Court jury found Bebawi guilty of the five counts against him, including fraud, corruption of foreign officials, and laundering proceeds of crime.

Bebawi served as SNC-Lavalin’s head of international construction division. Crown prosecutors portrayed Bebawi as “a key figure in an elaborate scheme to bribe Libyan officials,” the CBC reports.

Another former high-level SNC-Lavalin executive, Riadh Ben Aissa, told the courtroom that SNC had transferred over $100 million dollars to a shell company in the late 90s until the death of Gadhafi in 2011.

The executive claimed that the money was intended for Gadhafi’s son, Saadi Gadhafi.

Aissa, who had himself served two years in a Swiss jail for bribing Libyan officials, admitted to being a figure in setting up the company as a reward Gadhafi for aiding SNC-Lavalin to secure expensive construction projects, which resulted in SNC winning numerous Libyan contracts which totalled a whopping $1.85 billion.

Gadhafi’s rewards also included a $25 million yacht and coquettish trips to Montreal and other major Canadian cities.

Interactions between Gadhafi and SNC also remain unfinished, as the company allegedly gave $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials between 2001 and 2011, a direct violation of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.

Sami Bebawi was sentenced to 8-and-a-half years in prison.

SNC also recently had to pay out a $280 million fine for other corruption charges.

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Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
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