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Panel to look into retirements allegedly linked to ‘tobacco case’

By JT - Feb 10,2019 - Last updated at Feb 10,2019

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday decided to form a committee to reconsider recent decisions to refer a number of employees at the Jordan Customs Department (JCD) and the Jordan Free and Development Zones Group (JFDZG) to retirement or unpaid leave.

The decision came after recent developments surfaced in the investigation of the so-called tobacco case. 

Razzaz instructed the panel, headed by Justice Minister Bassam Talhouni, to make its recommendations as soon as possible, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The committee members comprise the deputy chairman of the Jordan Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission, secretary general of the Audit Bureau, secretary general of the Finance Ministry and the JCD director general.

According to the State Security Court (SSC) attorney general’s indictment list for the case, the suspect Awni Mutee allegedly received approval from former JCD director Waddah Hmoud, another suspect, to remove any obstacles that could obstruct the smuggling of tobacco and to transfer or refer to retirement any employee who would impede the former’s tobacco smuggling activities. 

In return, Mutee allegedly offered money to Hmoud. 

The State Security Court attorney general on Thursday announced the final indictment list in the case and the charges against the defendants.

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