3 SNC-Lavalin agents quizzed by the ACC

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Sunday interrogated three sub-agents of SNC-Lavalin in connection with alleged corruption in the Padma bridge project.

ACC directors Mir Md Zainul Abedin Shebli and Mirza Zahidul Alam quizzed the three at the commission’s headquarters from 10:00am to 1:00pm, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, ACC public relations officer, told The Daily Star.

They are: Dr Abdus Sabur, managing director of Bets Consulting Service Ltd, Shahidul Hasan Khan, managing director of Prokolpo Upadesta Limited, and MA Aziz, director of BCL Associates Ltd.

Pranab Kumar said the trio have been interrogated on the alleged corruption in appointing the Canadian company as the consultant for the Padma bridge.

After the interrogation, Shahidul Hasan told journalists, “As we are sub-agents of SNC-Lavalin, the ACC called us for what we know about the allegation.”

He said, “If SNC-Lavalin would get appointment as consultant for the Padma bridge then we would have a share from it as a sub-agent.”

Earlier on July 2, the ACC quizzed Ziaul Huq, managing director of Engineering and Planning Consultant Ltd (EPC), the local agent of SNC-Lavalin, about why he had frequently visited the office of Bangladesh Bridges Division.

The anti-graft commission launched two investigations into the allegations of corruption in the main bridge project and in the appointment process of SNC-Lavalin after the World Bank had drew its attention on the matter last October. Since then the WB kept its $1.2 billion loan for the project suspended until June 30, when It finally cancelled the loan.

ACC has already completed the first investigation and found no evidence of irregularities in the main bridge project.

Last November, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on WB’s request launched an investigation against SNC-Lavalin. They raided the company office, seized documents from there and arrested former chief executive Pierre Duhaime, Bangladeshi-born Canadian citizen Ismail Hossain and Indian-born Canadian citizen Ramesh Saha

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