In coordination and cooperation with the competent authorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment has blocked 10 accounts in the social networking sites during the past month. These sites used to market fake and counterfeit goods, bearing forged trademarks registered with MCI. Therefore, the number of accounts blocked by MCI from the beginning of 2019 up to date has reached 18 accounts, accessed by more than 300.000 visitors.
The aforementioned accounts used to market products and goods, such as perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, slimming products, and others.
This comes within the Ministry's efforts to monitor and control infringing online accounts. This is to protect and preserve the consumers' rights against any fraud or counterfeiting practices, besides preserving the intellectual property rights for the registered trademarks.
MCI would like to warn the consumers against buying from unknown web pages or accounts in the social networking sites, and calls on consumers to buy from the electronic stores, or from the accounts and pages that have a C. R. or those registered and have "Ma'arouf" Service Certificate, or from the well known internationally sites. This is to guarantee and preserve the buyers' rights.
MCI calls on all electronic store owners and marketers in the social networking sites to register their trade activities through "Ma'arouf" free e-service. The data of all those registered in this service is available to the Ministry, thus enhancing the reliability and credibility of their products and services. "Ma'arouf" e-service provides the necessary evaluation of the electronic stores in the Kingdom and the comments and opinions of the dealers about their quality. Notably, the number of stores registered in "Ma'arouf" e-platform has reached 27.000, including more than 15 trade activities.
Meanwhile, MCI had blocked 55 accounts in the social networking sites during 2018 AD for violating the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law, and for marketing counterfeit and fake products.
Selling or marketing counterfeit or fake products or goods through websites or through the social networking is considered a clear violation to Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and to the Trademark System, which may lead to penalties of up to three-year imprisonment, fines of up to one million riyals, deporting the illegal labors from the Kingdom, suspension and prevention of practicing the trade activity, besides defamation by publishing the sentence in two local newspapers.
MCI will not hesitate to take stern measures and to impose the legal penalties on those marketing or distributing counterfeit or fake products through the social networking sites or the websites, and calls on all consumers to cooperate and lodge their complaints and observations through MCI Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or via the Ministry's website.