“We have just been informed of the arrest of Pierre Duhaime,” said SNC-Lavalin in a statement. “We have not been made officially aware of the specifics of any charges that may have been laid against him and are not able to comment further."
Canadian press reports say that the arrest was on charges including conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with a major hospital project. Mr Duhaime was invited to retire from the business, Canada's largest engineering firm, after a review conducted by the company revealed that he had authorised C$56m-worth of payments to undisclosed agents.
SNC-Lavalin's statement goes on to say: “As we have stated repeatedly, SNC-Lavalin has and will continue to cooperate fully with all authorities who request our assistance. We have voluntarily turned over information that we have to local and other authorities for them to take any actions that they may consider appropriate.
“We are unequivocal that no unethical behavior or illegal acts must ever be tolerated. We believe that anyone found to have committed any wrongdoing should be brought to justice.
“The company remains committed to maintaining ethical standards of business conduct. We have procedures in place, including a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, which every employee is obliged to sign and follow. Over the last number of months we have instituted, and continue to institute, measures to reinforce those procedures and strengthen internal controls and processes.”