The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has defamed a citizen and his sister for covering up a Syrian expatriate. This is after a court ruling convicted them of the crime of commercial concealment. It has been proved that they enable the expat to practice foodstuffs trade activity in Riyadh under the name of the Est. registered in the name of the she citizen, while the commercial register included that her brother is the manager.
The judgment issued by the Criminal Court in Riyadh imposed a fine of sixty thousand riyals on the violators, the closure of the establishment, liquidation of the trade activity, cancellation of licenses, collection of Zakat, fees and taxes, in addition to writing off the commercial register of the establishment and preventing the citizen of practicing the same trade activity, besides deporting the expat from the Kingdom, and not to be allowed to return for work, and defamation by publishing the ruling in a local newspaper at the expense of the violators.
In details, MCI inspection teams suspected a commercial concealment case in an Est. during their regular inspection rounds in Riyadh. After carrying out the necessary investigation, the inspectors seized documents and contracts held by the Expat, which confirm that he has been managing the Est., registered under the name of the she citizen, and her brother is the manager as per the C.R. Accordingly, the commercial concealment has been proved and the case was referred to the concerned 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.