Canadian mired in massive Italian bribery scandal

Farid Bedjaoui. (HO)

Farid Bedjaoui. (HO)

Jean-Francois Cloutier, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:04 PM ET

MONTREAL — A Canadian entrepreneur who is a partner of embattled engineering giant SNC-Lavalin is under suspicion in a $266.9-million bribery scandal.

The allegations against Farid Bedjaoui are the latest bad news for the Montreal firm already mired in bribery scandals involving the McGill superhospital in Montreal and the former Gadhafi regime in Libya.

Described as a playboy who loves women and luxury cars, Bedjaoui is being investigated by prosecutors in Milan for his alleged role as an intermediary in securing major contracts in his birthplace of Algeria.

The prosecutors on the Bedjaoui case are the same ones who secured a conviction for tax evasion against former Italian president Silvio Berlusconi.

Prosecutors say Bedjaoui, who grew up in Montreal, obtained 198 million euros in bribes from the Italian company Saipem, a subsidiary of the Italian oil giant ENI.

The bribes were allegedly paid to allow Saipem to obtain $11 billion US in contracts from the national oil company Sonatrach, Algeria's main oil and gas Crown corporation. Sonatrach is the largest company in Algeria.


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