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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 18/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Chairman of the board of directors of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC) Walid Kurdi on Saturday submitted his resignation, citing the "company's interests", the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Kurdi's resignation follows the formation of a Lower House investigation committee into alleged corruption in the 2006 privatisation deal of the JPMC and the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) investigation of several corruption cases related to the company, according to Petra.

Earlier this month the panel wrapped up its mandate and presented a set of recommendations to deputies, only three of which were approved.

An overwhelming majority of MPs voted down the committee's recommendations to refer to the judiciary any of the 16 persons whose names were listed in the panel's final report as "most likely" involved in corruption cases.

However, a majority of deputies voted in favour of the committee's recommendations for the government to terminate the JPMC privatisation agreement on grounds of its "unconstitutionality and illegality", grant concession rights for the exploitation of phosphate in other regions in the Kingdom, and rectify the status of the board of directors of the formerly state-owned JPMC.

Last week, the JPMC issued a statement in response to official statements and news reports alleging that the company and its CEO and chairman are implicated in cases of suspected corruption related to marketing and shipping deals it signed with foreign firms.

The JPMC said the recent "inaccurate information" attributed to an official contradicts facts pertaining to the way mining companies in general, and the JPMC in particular, run their operations, especially when it comes to shipment deals.

To clarify facts, the JPMC said neither the company's chairman nor any of his family members own or have any shares in the foreign companies that buy or market phosphate provided by the JPMC.

Earlier, the ACC had said 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 found to be owned by Kurdi and his relatives.

The anti-graft agency also claimed that ADMS owned around 70 per cent of the contracts that the JPMC signed with ship owners to transport phosphate from Aqaba to other countries.

In response to these allegations, the JPMC said that sea freight shipments are not part of its operations nor does it have a specialised unit that provides shipping services, adding that most of its goods are shipped using the Free On Board system.


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