AMMAN (AFP) – Jordanian authorities detained four people, including a former finance minister on suspicion of corruption in a 2.1-billion-dollar refinery modernisation project, the official news agency Petra reported.
“The Amman public prosecutor ordered the arrest of former finance minister and refinery management committee chairman Adel Kudah, former Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company executive director Ahmed Rifai, former prime ministerial economic advisor Mohammed Rawashdeh and businessman Khaled Shahin,” it said.
They are accused of “taking bribes and failing in their duties,” Petra said. They were remanded in custody for 15 days and could face prison terms of up to three years if convicted.
The allegations involve a tendering process last year for the expansion and modernisation of Jordan’s oil refinery.
Kudah, Rifai and Rawashdeh are accused of rigging the process to secure the contract for a Jersey-based company which Shahin represented.
Press reports about the affair had prompted the dismissal of the refinery company’s top managers.
Battling corruption has been a major platform of the new government formed by Prime Minister Samir Rifai in December.