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13 per cent decrease in electricity theft cases since January

Drop attributed to strict measures against violators, enhanced inspection campaigns — EMRC

By JT - May 05,2018 - Last updated at May 05,2018

The law penalises the intentional destruction or hindrance of work of power facilities (File photo)

AMMAN — Electricity theft cases in the first four months of 2018 declined by 13 per cent, compared with the same period of 2017, thanks to strict measures against violators, Farouq Hiyari, chief commissioner of the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC), said on Saturday. 

In an EMRC statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Hiyari noted that the number of cases between January and April totalled 7,441 cases, compared with 8,554 cases in the same period of 2017, down by 23 per cent of the overall 9,685 cases in 2016.

He stressed that EMRC's procedures, in terms of legislation and field campaigns, contributed to reducing power theft, as EMRC intensified its campaigns, in cooperation with electricity distribution companies and security departments, to include Fridays and public holidays  in addition to campaigns out of official working hours.

The chief commissioner said that the 7,441 cases were discovered through 99,848 inspection campaigns that resulted in 624 cases referred to the court.

Of the total, EMRC discovered 3,597 cases, electricity distribution companies spotted 2,729, while public security and Gendarmerie departments' personnel revealed 1,115 power thefts, Hiyari noted.

He added that rulings were issued in 638 cases in the first four months of 2018, distributed between 228 cases that were filed by the Jordanian Electric Power Company (JEPCO), 283 filed by the Irbid District Electricity Company (IDECO) and 127 by the Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO).

Courts are still investigating 624 cases, 177 of which were filed by JEPCO, 383 by IDECO and 64 by EDCO, according to Hiyari.

JEPCO is responsible for providing power to the central region that comprises the governorates of Amman, Zarqa, Madaba and Balqa, while IDECO supplies the northern governorates of Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq. The southern governorates of Aqaba, Tafileh, Maan and Karak receive power from EDCO.

If convicted, suspects in electricity theft cases face imprisonment from six months to two years, or a fine between JD2,000 and JD10,000, or both penalties.

Under the law, all those who intentionally vandalise, destroy or hinder the work of power facilities or cause them any damages shall face imprisonment terms between one to three years or a fine ranging between JD2,000 and JD100,000 or both penalties. Penalty can be stiffened if the violation causes danger to the public safety.

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