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Over 13,000 electricity thefts uncovered so far this year

By Omar Obeidat - Jul 19,2016 - Last updated at Jul 19,2016

AMMAN — Authorities uncovered 13,291 cases of electricity theft during the first half of this year, according to Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiyari. 

Hiyari told The Jordan Times over the phone on Monday that the number of violations registered by the EMRC across the Kingdom rose by 114 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

He noted that the EMRC alone dealt with 6,398 cases of power theft, while security personnel and electricity companies uncovered another 4,893 violations across the Kingdom. 

The official said 1,452 cases are currently being handled by the competent courts. 

According to Hiyari, the largest number of electricity thefts was recorded in the central region –– the most densely populated region which includes Amman, Zarqa, Salt and Madaba –– that is supplied by the Jordanian Electric Power Company (JEPCO). 

The commission alone dealt with 4,374 cases of power thefts from the networks of JEPCO, he noted, adding that the northern region –– supplied by Irbid District Electricity Company –– was second in terms of the number of violations, followed by the southern region. 

The Electricity Distribution Company supplies the southern governorates of Karak, Maan, Tafileh and Aqaba. 

If convicted, suspects in electricity theft cases face imprisonment from six months to two years or a fine no less than JD2,000, and sometimes more than JD10,000,  according to the EMRC chief commissioner.

Hiyari has previously told The Jordan Times that electricity theft costs the Kingdom about JD60 million annually. 

In July 2015, the EMRC launched a campaign to raise awareness on the need to combat power theft.

 

As part of the campaign, about 100,000 brochures have been distributed, and — in collaboration with the ICT Ministry — several bulk messages were sent to mobile subscribers on the issue, highlighting penalties imposed on those who steal electricity. 

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