Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin said late Thursday it has sacked two executives loosely linked to a failed plot to smuggle a son of ex-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi into Mexico.
The pair became the focus of reports after Mexican officials announced charges in an elaborate plan to bring 38-year-old Saadi Gadhafi and other relatives into Mexico on false papers last year at the height of pro-democracy protests in Libya.
SNC-Lavalin, which oversaw billions of dollars worth of projects in Libya including the construction of a prison, said in a statement that Riadh Ben Aissa, executive vice-president of the firm's construction arm, and vice-president in charge of finances Stephane Roy, were "no longer in the employ of the company, effective immediately."
It added "that all employees must comply with our code of ethics and business conduct."
Roy had been placed at the scene of the arrest in November in Mexico City of accused conspirator Gabriela Davila Huerta.
He was invited to Mexico to meet with Cynthia Vanier, a Canadian also charged for her alleged role in the plot, to discuss "the possibility of water treatment projects," company spokeswoman Leslie Quinton had told Agence France Presse.
However, SNC-Lavalin employees later told public broadcaster CBC that Roy had no responsibilities in this area.
Roy, said Quinton, "was asked the purpose of his visit by the authorities" in Mexico, but was not charged.
SNC-Lavalin had previously hired Vanier for "a fact-finding mission in early summer 2011 in order to establish the situation in Libya with the intent of resuming operations there," Quinton said.
Mexican authorities charged Vanier, a Dane and two Mexicans on January 28 with attempted trafficking of undocumented people, organized crime and falsifying official documents. A fifth, fugitive suspect has not been identified.
Meanwhile Aissa, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, had flown Saadi Gadhafi’s bodyguard from Canada to Tunis where he and Aissa and Roy held a video conference with Saadi Gadhafi to discuss his movements.
The bodyguard then joined an armed convoy to escort Saadi Gadhafi to the border with Niger. After his father's death during fighting with pro-democracy rebels, Saadi Gadhafi fled to Niger.
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/29693|