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Sami Bebawi

Sami Bebawi was a vice president of Montreal-based engineering firm, SNC-Lavalin, from 2000 to 2006. He stands accused of fraud, extortion, bribing a foreign official, obstruction of justice, possession of the proceeds of a crime, and money laundering.

He had been detained in Switzerland in 2013 for allegedly bribing one of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, Radio-Canada reported.

The following year, he voluntarily left Egypt to face a number of charges filed in Canada related to his time as an SNC-Lavalin executive.

Authorities allege he used international projects to launder $33 million between 2001 and 2012, defrauded the Libyan government and other government organizations, and bribed Libyan public officials, according to Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête.

Prosecutors also allege that Bebawi kept more than $26 million between 2001 and 2012 though he knew it had been obtained illegally, and owned a condominium in Florida and four bank accounts while also knowing that they were the proceeds of criminal activity, the Montreal Gazette reported.

Furthermore, he is charged with attempting to bribe a former colleague, Riadh Ben Aissa, who said Bebawi offered to pay him to give false testimony that supported the story Bebawi had given to Swiss authorities, according to the Gazette.

A Montreal judge released Bebawi on $200,000 bail in February 2015, but required him to provide a list of every property he owns around the world, CBC reported. Canadian authorities froze several of his bank accounts and properties in that country. It is not clear if they identified his property in Dubai.

On April 6, a Quebec Superior Court judge denied a motion by Bebawi that argued he had waited too long for his trial and has suffered hardships. The trial is set to begin in April 2019.

Bebawi appears in a leaked database of property and residency data compiled by real estate professionals, obtained by the non-profit group C4ADS, and provided to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

He is shown in connection with a 1,864 square foot, 3 bedroom apartment at Delphine Tower, a high-rise tower that is part of the Marina Promenade in Dubai Marina, an affluent residential neighborhood. Today, apartments of this size in the Delphine Tower sell for about AED 2,200,000 ($599,000).

Bewabi did not respond to reporters’ attempts to contact him.

This story is part of the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium, a collaboration started by OCCRP and Transparency International. For more information, click here.

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