MCI Inspection Teams Seized 42 thousand Counterfeit Cosmetics, Valued more than Two Million Riyals. Three Instagram Accounts, Used for Marketing such Items, were Closed.

01 Feb 2018
Expatriates of both Men and Women have been Producing the Cosmetics and Marketing  them online to 288,000 consumers
The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has closed three accounts marketing counterfeit and fake products through the social networking site "Instagram". Foreign men and women of Asian nationality used a residential building in Al-Areeja neighborhood, west of Riyadh, to manufacture and pack fake cosmetics, using materials of unknown origin. They used to fill these items in containers not bearing any commercial data, then they do the marketing and selling through the social networking platforms.

42 thousand fake cosmetics were seized, valued about SR 2,100,000, besides closing the three Instagram accounts. Thus protecting 288 thousand consumers of such fake items. 

After a tip received by MCI, the necessary investigation had been carried out and the suspects were arrested and referred to the Public Prosecution in preparation for their referral to the judicial authorities to complete the legal procedures against them. All that had been done in cooperation and coordination with the joint security campaigns represented by the Riyadh police.

The products stored inside the site included moisturizing and skin whitening cream, aromatic oil and body care items, besides the machines used for mixing and manufacturing such items, which were all seized and confiscated, since they pose danger to the safety of users.

MCI warns against buying from unknown accounts in the social networking sites, and calls for purchasing from the electronic stores, or from the accounts and pages that have a C. R. or those registered and have a service certificate from "Ma’aroof" site, or from the well-known international sites, so that  to ensure and preserve the consumers’ rights.

MCI also warns against selling or marketing counterfeit or fake goods through websites and social networking. Since such activity is considered a violation of the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and Trademark System, which may lead to penalties of up to three years' imprisonment, fines of one million riyals, and deporting the illegal labors to their countries and writing off the commercial activity.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Commerce and Investment has invited all electronic store owners and marketers in the social networking sites to register in the free online service "Ma’aroof", where the data of all those registered is available with the Ministry. Thus enhancing reliability and credibility in their products and their work. “Ma’aroof” service also provides an assessment of the electronic stores in the Kingdom and the views and opinions of dealers, in addition to the quality of their business. This would ensure easy access to every consumer.

MCI will not hesitate to impose the legal penalties on those marketing counterfeit and fake goods through the social networking and websites. MCI is keen to ensure the safety of goods and products and to protect the consumers against counterfeiting and manipulation.

MCI calls on all consumers to cooperate and lodge their complaints and reports through MCI Consumer Call Center (1900) or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report or via the Ministry's website.
Last Modified 25 Dec 2018