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Regulatory commission tallies over 17k electricity thefts in 2019

By JT - Dec 03,2019 - Last updated at Dec 06,2019

Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission personnel detected 937 cases of electricity theft in November (Al Rai photo)

AMMAN — The Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) on Monday said that it documented a total of 17,275 electricity theft cases during the first 11 months of 2019.

EMRC Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiyari said that 3,535 electricity theft lawsuits were filed during the January-November period, with courts issuing final rulings on 1,749 cases, according to an EMRC statement.

Commission personnel, in the first 11 months of this year, detected 9,629 cases, while the remaining 7,646 cases were discovered by electricity distribution companies and the Public Security and Gendarmerie departments.

Of the 9,629 cases uncovered by the EMRC, 6,185 were registered under the jurisdiction of the Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO), which distributes electricity to Amman, Zarqa, Balqa and Madaba.

A total of 2,492 thefts were registered within the Irbid District Electricity Company’s (IDECO) areas, which comprises the northern governorates of Irbid, Mafraq, Jerash and Ajloun and 952 cases were reported within the Electricity Distribution Company’s (EDCO) areas, covering the southern governorates of Aqaba, Maan, Karak and Tafileh.

EMRC personnel detected 937 cases in November alone, including 653 thefts in the area covered by JEPCO, 204 within IDECO areas, and 80 in areas covered by EDCO, according to the statement.

Also in November, Hiyari added, electricity distribution companies detected 629 cases, while the security agencies uncovered 198 alleged thefts, noting that the EMRC carried out 265,602 inspections during the first 11 months of this year.

The law stipulates that anyone who tampers with the electrical system or is involved in electricity theft may face imprisonment from anywhere between six months to two years, a fine from JD2,000 to JD10,000 or both.

Under the law, all those who intentionally vandalise, destroy or hinder the work of power facilities, or cause them any damage, could face imprisonment for one to three years, a fine ranging from JD2,000 to JD100,000 or both.

The penalty can also be increased if the violation poses any danger to public safety.

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