-Top News Canada UK News

UK govt handed $1.5m contract to firm that bribed Qaddafi’s son

AtkinsRealis won the contract in September 2023 and it is set to run until December 2025. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company relating to the contract…reports Asian Lite News

A Canadian company that pleaded guilty to bribing late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son to win contracts in the North African nation was granted a £1.2 million ($1.5 million) contract by the Conservative government, The Independent newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Department for Transport documents reveal that AtkinsRealis, a company formerly known as SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. that is based in Montreal, successfully bid for a contract to provide specialist technical and commercial advice to support the department’s oversight of rail fares, ticketing and retailing policy.

The business previously pleaded guilty to bribing dictator’s son Saadi Qaddafi with millions of dollars between 2001 and 2011 to win contracts in the North African nation, the Independent said.

AtkinsRealis won the contract in September 2023 and it is set to run until December 2025. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company relating to the contract.

“The events in question occurred before 2012,” a spokesperson for AtkinsRealis’ told the Independent. “The company has transformed culturally, operationally and in its governance over the last decade, with a new leadership team and a robust and transparent integrity and compliance program recognized and independently verified by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in ethical business practices.”

The newspaper said that prior to the company’s rebranding, it was linked with historic allegations of bribery and corruption in several countries.

After winning a government contract in India in 1995 to refurbish a hydroelectric power station, it faced accusations of bribery and financial fraud. Several Indian officials were sacked following an official investigation.

More recently, four former employees of SNC-Lavalin who faced corruption allegations over their role in the construction the Padma Bridge in Bangladesh were acquitted by a Canadian Court.

The company pleaded guilty to paying $48 million in bribes to public officials in Libya to win contracts while Muammar Qaddafi was in power. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged two former employees of bribing Libyan officials to secure deals over the course of a decade. In 2019, Canadian prosecutors said payments were directed to Saadi Qaddafi in return for him using his influence to secure construction contracts.

In response to questions about the awarding of the rail contract to AtkinsRealis, the Department for Transport told The Independent it is committed to delivering value for money for taxpayers and contracts are awarded through transparent and fair processes. The Conservative Party refused to comment.

AtkinsRealis said the company has been providing technical advice on rail fares and ticketing to the Department for Transport since 2020.

“This specialist advice has been used to support the development of fares strategies for the UK passenger rail network, including the expansion of ‘pay as you go’ ticketing, fares simplification and reform, and ticketing and retail strategies,” the spokesperson added.

ALSO READ-King Charles hails ties as Japan royals make state visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *