06/21/2012 08:57 EDT | Updated 08/21/2012 05:12 EDT

UPAC raids net 11 arrests south of Montreal

Quebec provincial police have arrested 11 people in connection with an anti-corruption investigation in several communities south of Montreal.

The arrests were made Thursday following an investigation by Quebec's permanent anti-corruption squad, UPAC.

Sûreté du Québec officials say the accused were involved in a collusion scheme since 2007 involving municipal infrastructure projects in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The case also involves projects in Carignan, Lacolle and Henryville.

Police say the case involved seven contracts worth $20 million. The alleged fraud is estimated at $1 million.

Police say two of the accused worked for the city of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Investigators also targeted 9 construction companies.

About 77 charges are expected to be laid in all. The suspects are accused of a wide range of charges including breach of trust, influencing a public official, defrauding the government, producing and using counterfeit documents, accepting a bribe, extortion and conspiracy.

Nine of the suspects are also charged with bid rigging under the federal competition act.

Police say the people arrested today will be questioned and released and are expected to appear in court on Sept. 7.