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SNC-Lavalin denies bribery allegations

By Bal Krishna in Toronto
June 16, 2009 15:03 IST
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SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian engineering company, has denied allegations of bribery in connection with a $60 million corruption case that created a political crisis in Kerala.

Describing the allegations as 'offensive', Gillian MacCormack, SNC-Lavalin vice president for global public relations, said: "We have done nothing wrong since the beginning of the project and nobody has ever contacted us."

"We find the innuendos and accusations against our company, its representatives and its good reputation offensive, inaccurate and totally unacceptable," she said when asked to comments on media reports.

Denying the accusations in the Indian media, she said SNC-Lavalin looks forward to continuing to work with "our Indian clients in the positive environment which has always characterised our presence in the country for the past 50 years."

SNC-Lavalin was never approached by anyone over the alleged accusations "we keep reading about," she said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation in a charge sheet filed last week alleged that SNC-Lavalin, the Montreal-based company was wrongfully given contracts for renovation of three power projects in 1997 when the Communist Party of India-Marxist's (CPI-M) Kerala secretary Pinarayi Vijayan was the power minister of the State.

MacCormack said: "We have absolutely nothing to hide. In fact, we are very proud of our 50-year-old relationship with India and our numerous contributions to its economic development."

She said SNC-Lavalin has always executed its projects "properly and professionally and in compliance with Indian law".

"We did rehabilitate the three power plants on budget and on schedule in Kerala, and we have it in writing from our client that it is pleased with our work," she said.

SNC-Lavalin even helped the Kerala authorities build a cancer hospital, which has been operating for several years now, she added.

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Bal Krishna in Toronto
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