The Ministry of Commerce has defamed a Saudi male and female citizens and an expat of Syrian nationality following a court ruling convicting them of violating the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law. It has been proved that the male and female citizens have enabled the expat to engage in contracting activities in Jeddah, under the name of two commercial establishments registered in the name of the two citizens.
The Ministry has published a summary of the judicial ruling issued by the Criminal Court in Jeddah, including a fine of 350,000 riyals, and a six-month imprisonment against the citizen and the expat, in addition to closing the two facilities, liquidating their trade activities, cancelling the licenses, writing off the commercial registrations, preventing the two citizens from practicing the same trade activity, collecting zakat, fees and taxes, besides deporting the expat from Kingdom after executing the ruling and not to be allowed to return for work, also defamation by publishing the ruling in a local newspaper at the expense of the violators.
In details, MC inspectors suspected a case of Commercial Concealment in the two establishments, engaged in general contracting activities for residential and commercial buildings, including their maintenance and operation, also for supplying air conditioners and for recruiting labors.
After carrying out the necessary investigation, it has been found that there is a commercial partnership between the citizen and the expat, who has been managing the establishment as if he were the real owner by using the citizen’s bank accounts for commercial purposes, and by using the stamps of the two establishments. Based on the availability of material evidence confirming the case of the cover-up, those involved were referred to the concerned authorities for taking the legal measures and imposing the penalties against them, according to the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law.
Notably, the new law for combating the commercial concealment, which was recently approved by the Council of Ministers, relied on mechanisms that contribute to eliminating the sources of commercial concealment and to put an end to the shadow economy.
The new law includes heavy penalties of up to five-year imprisonment, a fine of up to five million riyals, seizure and confiscation of the illegal funds of the violators after the issuance of a final court ruling, in addition to other relevant penalties, including closing the facility, liquidating the trade activity, canceling the commercial registry and preventing the convicted person from practicing any economic activity for a period of five years, besides deporting the expat from the Kingdom and not to be allowed to return for work.
The Ministry of Commerce receives reports about the commercial concealment through MC Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or via the Ministry’s website. Notably, MC grants a reward of up to 30% of the total fines after collection to the informer. The fine may reach up to five million riyals against each violator.