Phosphate corruption case continues in Jordan
The Amman Criminal Court on Monday continued to hear testimony from prosecution witnesses in the case against former chairman of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) Walid Kurdi.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) prosecutors have charged the former JPMC chairman with 10 counts of “abuse of office” during his service at the head of the firm in 2008-2011.
Kurdi is a suspect in a case involving marketing and shipping deals the JPMC signed with foreign firms.
An investigation showed that the JPMC had ignored contracts with the Jordan International Chartering Company (JICC), of which the JPMC owns more than 30 per cent, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The ACC investigation unveiled that those foreign companies had signed several sea freight shipping agreements with the JICC at prices lower than those agreed on with the JPMC.
The commission estimated the difference in contracts between 2008 and 2011 to exceed $40 million.
Samer Abdullah Rousan, a senior marine broker at the JICC, explained to the court that the company rents ships for the JMPC and the Arab Potash Company at competitive prices, the agency reported.
“The JICC used to rent all the ships for the two companies and all their contracts were made through the JICC,” he said, adding that when Kurdi became the JPMC chairman, he excluded the JICC.
The ACC probe found that the Aqaba Development and Marine Services (ADMS) company, with which the JPMC signed a deal to ship 250,000 tonnes of phosphate to Turkey in 2010, was owned by Kurdi and his relatives.
The agency found that ADMS owned around 70 per cent of the contracts that the JPMC had signed with ship owners to transport the phosphate from Aqaba to other countries, according to Petra.
The court also listened to the testimony of JPMC trade manager Khaled Hajjaj in another suspected corruption case related to the JPMC’s sales of DAP fertilisers, which the ACC estimates to involve some JD300 million in funds accumulated between 2007 and 2012.