Jordan ‘dismissed honorary consuls following int’l investigation’

Shadow diplomats passport passports
(Photo: ICIJ)
AMMAN — According to a Jordanian official, the government recently dismissed six honorary consuls in foreign countries, including millionaire businessman Shucry Kafie, who represented the Kingdom in his home country of Honduras, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported.اضافة اعلان

The move was made in the wake of the “Shadow Diplomats” investigation published by ICIJ and the non-profit newsroom ProPublica last year, which revealed questionable dealings by at least 500 global honorary consuls.

The investigation relied on the reports of 160 journalists from 46 countries who identified special diplomats involved in corruption cases and exploiting funds and status to threaten international security and promote personal gain.

Under the honorary consul system, citizens with special connections, experience, and influence volunteer from their home countries to promote the interests of foreign governments, particularly in places that lack an embassy or consulate.

The honorary diplomats are afforded special privileges under an international treaty, including, at times, immunity from lawsuits and free cross-border movement of consular items without inspection, ICIJ said.

One out of manyIn the case of Kafie, who had represented Jordan in Honduras for over 30 years, reports obtained through the investigation showed that the millionaire had taken advantage of his consular privileges.

“In 2016, a judge cited Kafie’s diplomatic status as honorary consul in allowing the millionaire to avoid detention after an arrest for fraud,” ICIJ reported.

Kafie denied the claims, having “previously told ICIJ and ProPublica that the criminal charges, which were dismissed, were politically motivated”, the consortium wrote.

Nevertheless, the Kingdom terminated his role as its honorary consul to Honduras.

Jordan is just one of many countries to conduct reviews and implement dismissals of honorary consuls following the Shadow Diplomats investigation.

According to the ICIJ, Latvia, Israel, Brazil, Spain, and several other countries have reformed or canceled their honorary consul systems in response to evidence provided by journalists in the report.

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