Nine people have been arrested in the on-going investigation by Montreal, Canada police into allegations of corruption and anti-competitive behaviour in the province of Quebec's construction industry. Among those arrested is Frank Zampino, a former chairman of the city's Executive Committee (government executive branch) and one-time close advisor to Gérald Tremblay, who has been mayor of Montreal since 2002.
Mr Zampino is accused of fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust for his alleged role in a bid-rigging scheme which is said to have defrauded taxpayers of millions of Dollars. He and other public officials are accused of selling confidential information to contractors bidding for publicly funded construction projects. Mr Ampino retired from politics in 2008.
Contractor, Construction Frank Catania et Associes Inc., has been charged with fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust in connection with the arrests. The company's president. Paolo Catania, has also been arrested.
The arrests follow the setting up of "L'Opération Marteau" (Operation Hammer)in 2009, a special police investigation to look into alleged connections between Quebec's construction industry and organised crime. This move followed allegations of criminal influence in the industry, bid rigging and the corruption of public officials.