Quebec anti-corruption squad reveals big arrest totals for 2012

Associated Press

MONTREAL - Quebec's anti-corruption squad has produced a list of its activities from 2012 — and what a list it is.

Forty-nine people arrested. Criminal charges against 13 companies. One-hundred and seventy-seven different charges laid. And arrest warrants issued 450 times.

Those are the numbers laid out at a news conference today by Robert Lafreniere, head of the provincial unit created last year.

But he suggests his squad is just getting warmed up.

More than 20 ongoing investigations touch on areas outside the construction industry into things like contracts for computer technology and work related to the Plan Nord. That's the provincial project to develop mining, tourism and infrastructure in the north.

The arrests so far have dealt essentially with alleged wrongdoing in the construction industry at the municipal level — with charges laid against the mayors of two small towns and the mayor of Laval resigning after his homes and offices were searched.

Lafreniere was asked whether his unit is also investigating activity at the federal or provincial level.

He replied that the ongoing investigations are looking into municipal and provincial activity.

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