Jordan: More corruption charges possible in phosphate case
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday referred a new file involving alleged corruption related to mining operations at the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) to the prosecutor general.
According to ACC investigations, cited by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, former JPMC chairman Walid Kurdi referred all phosphate mining tenders at Shidiyeh mines to one company in particular, an act which constitutes a violation of the JPMC’s rules of procedure.
To ensure that tenders went to this specific firm, a limited liability company was established in 2007 with Kurdi presiding over its board of directors, Petra reported.
The firm was called Manajim for Mining Development Company in which the JPMC’s share was 26 per cent, while the remaining 74 per cent was owned by Jordan Economic Development and Trading Company (COMEDAT).
In 2008, COMEDAT sold 30 per cent of its stake to two British companies registered in Virgin Islands. One of these companies belonged to Adco Corporation while investigation did not reveal the owner of the second company.
Investigators found there was a noticeable increase in the mining costs because the JPMC was referring all tenders to Manajim.
Moreover, the findings of the probe showed that Kurdi was referring all the mining operations at Al Hassa and Al Abiad mines to one specific company, which received JD40 million at the beginning of 2011.
The investigation is still under way to uncover further possible violations in relation to maintenance and other JPMC procurement expenses.
Last week, the ACC prosecutors charged Kurdi, who reportedly lives in London, with 10 counts of “abuse of office” during his service in the firm in 2008-2011.
The decision came few days after the ACC decided to freeze the assets of the former CEO.
The ACC has also estimated that the size of funds in other suspected corruption cases related to JPMC’s sales of DAB fertilisers stands at JD300 million, accumulating between 2007 and 2012.