OTTAWA -- The corporate entities of SNC-Lavalin Inc. and SNC-Lavalin International Inc., as well as two former senior executives of the Quebec-based firms have been charged with a series of fraud and forgery offences by the RCMP.

According to a statement released by the RCMP on Thursday, former vice-president of SNC-Lavalin Normand Morin and former vice-president of SNC-Lavalin International Inc. Kamal Francis have been arrested but released.

They, and the two corporate entities, are facing “a number of charges” including fraud against the government, following “a lengthy and comprehensive criminal investigation by the National Division RCMP Sensitive and International Investigations section.”

The investigation into the alleged criminal wrongdoing relates to “bribes that were paid in exchange for obtaining a contract,” according to the RCMP. The domestic investigation focused on construction work on the Pont Jacques Cartier in Montreal between 1997 and 2004.

In a statement, SNC-Lavalin said it “acknowledges the charges relating to alleged events that took place nearly two decades ago and welcomes the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales’ (DPCP) invitation to negotiate a remediation agreement.”

The company says it “fully cooperated” with the RCMP and the former employees “left the company years ago.”

The charges have not been tested or proven in court. The matter will next come up in a Montreal court on Sept. 27.

As The Canadian Press has reported, in 2020, four subsidiaries of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. were barred from bidding on public contracts in Quebec after the engineering giant’s construction subsidiary pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to pay a $280-million fine related to work the company did in Libya between 2001 and 2011.

It was this case and the firm’s attempts to lobby for a deferred prosecution agreement that saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government embroiled in scandal in 2019.