SQ probe targets construction industry

I am shocked, SHOCKED SIR, at the suggestion that the construction industry in Quebec is tied to some kind of… what’s that word… “Syndicate”?

SQ probe targets construction industry

Ten warrants issued to search for money-laundering

BY JAN RAVENSBERGEN, MONTREAL GAZETTE

MARCH 31, 2009 6:09 PM

MONTREAL – Teams from the Sûreté du Québec investigating money-laundering in the construction industry sprang search warrants Tuesday on about 10 businesses and homes, as part of a probe around the Montreal region, Constable Claude Denis said.

The raids were carried out in Montreal, Laval, Terrebonne, Boisbriand, Legardeur, Repentigny and Three Rivers.

Denis refused to provide the exact number of raids, or say how many officers participated.

Sgt. Marc Butz, another SQ spokesperson, said at 5:30 p.m. that he was not aware of any arrests.

Both SQ officials refused to say whether the raids were tied in with earlier allegations of possible money-laundering schemes in the province’s building industry involving the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and one or more officials in the province’s largest union central, the Quebec Federation of Labour, or QFL, which has more than 500,000 members.

Police arrived at an office of the Fonds de Solidarité, a QFL-sponsored investment fund with assets of $6.2 billion, during the morning “to investigate information on a company in the construction sector which has never been a partner of the Fonds,” the Fonds said in a press release.

“The Fonds is cooperating in full with the SQ,” it stated. “Neither the Fonds nor its employees are the focus of an investigation,” it added.

Michel Arsenault, board chairman of the Fonds and also president of the QFL, said that SQ investigators left with “a pile of documents.”

The SQ refused to confirm or deny that the raids are part of a previously reported probe into the activities of Jocelyn Dupuis, who for 11 years had been general manager of the 70,000-member QFL-Construction wing of the labour federation.

Dupuis left last November following a free-spending era of luxurious lunches and $4,750-a-week expense accounts.

In early March, leaked documents surfaced to reveal that Dupuis had been reimbursed for $125,000 of expenses claimed during a six-month period beginning in late 2007, including $200 bottles of wine and $24,294 for food and drink over two months at Cavalli, a posh restaurant in the city’s downtown district.

Dupuis also walked away with a $140,195 departure allowance.

“Many documents (related to spending during the Dupuis era) have disappeared,” Richard Goyette, who succeeded Dupuis, said March 11.

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