The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has defamed a Bahraini citizen, and his Saudi agent and a Pakistani expat after a court ruling convicted them of committing the crime of commercial concealment. They were found guilty of covering up and enabling the expat to engage in an unauthorized commercial activity and to run a plastic factory for his own account in Riyadh.
The Ministry has published the judicial ruling issued by Riyadh Criminal Court, which includes a fine of three hundred thousand riyals on the violators, imprisonment for three months for those who covered-up the expat, closure of the establishment, liquidation of its activity, cancellation of the license, writing off the commercial registration, collection of zakat, fees and taxes, deporting the expat from the Kingdom, and not to be allowed to return for work, and defamation by publishing the sentence in two local newspapers at the expense of the violators.
The Ministry of Commerce and Investment warns companies, institutions and foreign investors in the Kingdom against violating the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law, and stresses that the offenders will be arrested and referred to the judicial authorities for taking the legal measures, in accordance with the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law.
The Ministry of Commerce and Investment calls on all citizens and residents in all regions of the Kingdom to report cases of commercial concealment through the Ministry's Consumer Call Center (1900) or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or via the Ministry's website. Notably, MCI is granting an award of up to 30% of the total sentenced fines after collection. The fine may reach one million riyals against each violator.
It is worth mentioning that the Royal Supreme Authority has approved recently the implementation of the recommendations of the National Program for Combating the Commercial Concealment, which involves ten government agencies. This program aims to address and combat commercial concealment in all sectors, besides developing relevant regulations and legislations, also stimulating e-commerce and using technical solutions. This program aims as well at regulating and organizing the financial transactions to eliminate transferring of money abroad, as well as enhancing development in the private sector, also creating attractive jobs for Saudis and encouraging them to invest in various trade activities, more over finding solutions to the problem of illegal ownership of foreigners in the private sector.