Friday, February 10, 2012

Canadian company SNC-Lavalin had ties with Saadi Gadhafi

    Many companies in the west developed ties with the Gadaffi regime and had lucrative ongoing projects that were terminated by the civil war and consequent victory of the rebels. The Canadian company SNC-Lavalin a globally recognized engineering firm was among those companies who lost out when the Gadaffi regime fell.
    The company worked closely with Saadi Gadaffi the third son of the Libyan leader. From 2008 to 2010 SNC-Lavalin  helped develop the Libyan Corps of Engineers a unit that was personally supervised by Saadi.
   In their sales pitch to Libya the company touted the experience of Vice Admiral Ron Buck who was former head of the Canadian navy and their experience as a defense contractor. However the company claims it was only ever involved with civilian infrastructure projects. But the company was building a 275 million dollar prison project near Tripoli. Perhaps they can arrange to complete it through the new government as they are in need of prison capacity! The Canadian government had developed business relationships with Libya after the UN lifted its embargo in 2003. This happened under the Liberals as well as Conservatives.
    In 2010 SNC  had revenues of 418 million from its Libyan projects, six percent of total revenues. But now its relationship with the Gadaffi family are causing difficulties. One woman Cindy Vanier who was a consultant for the company has been arrested in Mexico in an alleged plot to smuggle family members into Mexico.
    Vanier was arrested in Mexico City back in November last year. Other people were arrested as well. Vanier was at the time arranging meetings with Mexican and SNC officials to discuss water projects in Mexico.
It is a long story and the company would like to get on with business and hope that everything gets smoothed over. For more see this article.   Ties between Libya and SNC are explored in this Globe and Mail article.

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