SNC Lavalin Suspends Payments to Ex-CEO

Canadian engineering group SNC Lavalin has suspended payments that it had been providing to former chief executive officer (CEO) Pierre Duhaime under his departure agreement.

Duhaime was arrested in Montreal last month on charges of
fraud
. He resigned as CEO of the group in March, following revelations that he authorised a series of suspect payments in Libya.

In a statement, SNC Lavalin said: “The board was disturbed to learn that former president and CEO Pierre Duhaime has been charged by authorities. While none of the charges have been proven, this development suggests that there may be additional facts regarding Mr Duhaime of which the board was not aware at the time of his departure.

“Accordingly, the board of directors has decided to suspend the payments provided for under Mr Duhaime’s previously announced departure arrangements. Until the facts surrounding Mr Duhaime’s situation are clarified or resolved, the payments under these arrangements will be held separately.”

Duhaime’s arrest is reported to be in connection with the payments, which were requested by fellow SNC-Lavalin executive Ben Aissa, who has been in prison since April on suspicion of corruption, fraud and money laundering in Libya.

SNC Lavalin also re-iterated that it has and will continue to cooperate fully with on-going investigations. It added that it reserved the right to claim damages against anyone who is found to have misused or misappropriated company funds or to have abused their office – including the recovery of funds. The group also confirmed that current chief financial officer (CFO), Gilles Laramée, would assume responsibility for a new business unit as executive vice-president (EVP) of infrastructure, concessions and investments. A search for a new CFO is underway and Laramée will continue as CFO until his replacement is in place.

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